GP medico-legal cover cost rises by up to 12.5%

The cost of medico-legal cover for GPs has been forced up this year after a hike in the cost of negligence claims.

The Medical Protection Society (MPS), Medical Defence Union (MDU) and Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS) have all increased their subscription rates for GPs this year.

Dr Iain Barclay, MPS deputy medical director, said subscriptions costs had increased by 12.5% after a 40% rise in the cost of clinical negligence claims against GPs and private doctors last year.

He said MPS had to balance a desire to keep rates low with the need to ensure that sufficient funds are available to provide security to members now and in the future.

The maximum subscription cost for a partner, which is for a GP delivering 11 or more sessions per week, increased from £5,400 to £6,075 a year.

‘This increase more accurately reflects the risk and our claims experience in this group of doctors,' Dr Barclay said.

Meanwhile, the MDU said the rate of claims inflation has remained ‘consistently above' the Retail Price Index.

A spokeswoman said this was down to rising claimants' solicitor costs and the increasing cost of long-term care.

But she added that the MDU had limited subscription rises for GP partners in 2010 to 3% and frozen salaried rates.

The MDDUS increased subscriptions by 4.4%, in line with the Retail Price Index.

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