Genetic testing, wearable devices and nanotechnology have transformed healthcare, providing better ability to predict, manage and improve our health. But they also pose challenges for the healthcare sector and the insurance industry. Our expectation of better health driven by medical innovation has risen, but traditional insurance risks of medical negligence and product malfunction remain. These risks have been further amplified due to the pandemic.

Our insurance and in-house expertise, coupled with a deep understanding of the healthcare, life science and medical device sectors, means our team is well placed to provide specialist legal advice on claims affecting medical professionals and others in the industry. This includes advising on medical negligence claims, disciplinary matters, coronial inquiries, advisory services, medical product liability and employment law support.

Doctors and other health care and allied health professionals value support, guidance and a personal approach. We do too. Three of our Health partners – Marie-Clare Elder, Chris Spain and Claudine Watson-Kyme – have all held senior in-house roles and understand how important it is to advocate for the medical professionals they represent. They take a sincere, empathetic approach to managing claims, complaints and audits.

We have worked with hundreds of registered healthcare practitioners and healthcare facilities. This includes hospitals, health clinics, medical training facilities, aged care and respite facilities, together with allied medical service providers such as radiology, nuclear medicine and pathology practices. In New Zealand, our dedicated medico-legal team has extensive experience representing matters before the NZ Health & Disability Commission and Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

We also advise a number of key players in the sector – including regulatory authorities, District Health Boards, disciplinary committees, and medical malpractice insurers and indemnity associations across Australia and New Zealand.

We have advised on all manner of incidents across the spectrum of the healthcare and life sciences industry, in cases such as:

Disciplinary proceedings

Complaints, regulatory and disciplinary matters, including AHPRA and HCCC notifications, proceedings before Professional Registration Boards and State Tribunals, Medicare review committees, and the New Zealand Health & Disability Commission.

Medical negligence claims

Against GPs, surgeons, physicians, dentists, nurses and hospitals for the full spectrum of clinical incidents such as failure to refer patients for more specialist care, delays in diagnosis and misdiagnoses, negligent medical treatment and professional misconduct.

Product liability claims

Against medical device manufacturers, including premature failure of devices, psychiatric injury following failed anaesthetics, severe allergic reactions to pharmaceuticals, and cosmetic deformities following procedures.

Coronial inquests

Into deaths of patients in hospitals, community care and aged care facilities, and as a result of the wrongful prescription of pharmaceuticals.

We work with industry participants to identify and develop insurance policies that can provide as much certainty and appropriate coverage as possible in a dynamic and evolving transformative market. And if things go wrong, our specialised experienced team can manage the claim and protect reputations.