We refer to the letters by Dr Wong Mun Tat ("Private obstetricians contribute a lot to healthcare"; last Thursday), Dr Yik Keng Yeong ("Open up docs' insurance to more players"; last Friday) and Dr Chew Shing Chai ("Not reasonable for Govt to provide blanket cover"; Forum Online, last Friday), concerning the insurance coverage for obstetricians in private practice, in response to the report on April 13 ("MOH to cover obstetricians in retirement").
Our public healthcare institutions have already been covering the medical indemnity insurance of all doctors under their employment as part of their provision of medical services to the public.
With the change in terms for insurance coverage for obstetricians offered by the Medical Protection Society (MPS), the public healthcare institutions will continue to ensure that doctors under their employment remain covered, and are in the process of working out the administrative details.
This has been communicated by the respective hospitals' management to their obstetricians, and should enable obstetricians in the public hospitals to practise without the anxiety of future indemnity cover once they retire.
Doctors in private practicecan opt to be covered under the terms offered by the MPS or NTUC Income, the two main insurers in Singapore for medical indemnity.
While the MPS cover for obstetrics practice has changed from occurrence-based to claims-made, the NTUC Income scheme remains occurrence-based.
There is still indemnity cover, even though the terms going forward have been changed for one insurer.
MOH will continue to work with the obstetrics fraternity, including the Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society, of Singapore to address the issues for both private and public institutions.
We appreciate the important and responsible role of our obstetricians in pregnancy care and childbirth in Singapore.
We will need to work together to ensure that Singaporeans have access to appropriate and affordable maternity care.
Lim Bee Khim (Ms)
Ministry of Health
This article was first published on April 23, 2015.
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