Why students need MIPS membership

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It may not be apparent in the first instance because you are studying not practicing yet, but healthcare students may be subject to a complaint, investigation or legal action as a result of their involvement in the healthcare they provide.

MIPS has assisted and supported numerous student members with complaints made against them by patients, practitioners, educators and fellow students. If you find yourself in dispute with your university or the hospital/clinic where you are undertaking clinical placements, then MIPS can assist.

MIPS’ Indemnity Insurance Policy is a professional indemnity insurance that covers you for acts, errors or omissions in the delivery of any healthcare to patients. This cover applies to all MIPS’ medical, dental, oral health therapy and nuclear medicine technology student members. You may be familiar with the terms 'medical negligence' or 'medical malpractice' insurance from American TV shows, which are similar.

It is a mandatory requirement for medical and dental students to hold appropriate indemnity insurance cover for healthcare practice.β€―This is typically provided by the university in conjunction with the hospital during your studies but does not necessarily cover the placements you undertake.

Before you undertake clinical placement, you must provide proof of indemnity cover to participate and MIPS usually provides that within 48 hours of you joining.  MIPS membership includes indemnity, support  and advice for student elective placements in and outside of Australia (excluding the USA).

While undertaking placements, your university provider will more likely provide you with indemnity cover, however, you may still be exposed to additional risks not covered by that indemnity and you may require further advice and support.β€― MIPS membership provides healthcare students indemnity insurance and support should there be a complaint, investigation or legal action made against you as a result of your involvement in any healthcare you provide as a student.

Benefits for student members

  • Indemnity cover for placements in and outside of Australia.
  • MIPS Assist for non-healthcare indemnity matters (unique cover to assist you if you are faced with a dispute with your university, especially if it is related to behaviour and/or threatens to suspend your studies).
  • Communicable diseases cover of $25,000 (ie if you contract AIDS, HIV, Hepatitis B or C) during your clinical placement.
  • Comprehensive indemnity cover up to $20 million with no sub-limits including defence and legal costs for investigations, disciplinary or administrative proceedings.
  • 24-hour clinico-legal advice and support (this service is available to all members at no additional cost).
  • Access to accredited on-demand CPD to get ahead of your fellow students.

Case study: Suspended from placement

While on placement a medical student was accused of giving advice that contradicted the patient management plan.

The student was stood down from the placement while the medical school conducted an investigation. When she contacted MIPS for assistance, the student was assisted by a clinico-legal advisor to write a response to the medical school and the hospital explaining her version of events.

This helped to resolve the matter and she was returned to her placement without further consequence.

When does MIPS help?

MIPS has provided support and assistance for incidents involving:

  • bullying and intimidation by staff or fellow students
  • clinical incompetence
  • disputes with hospital or university
  • suspension from your course
  • complaints about taking photographs of patients
  • complaints from patients’ relatives about treatment and communication
  • inappropriate conduct or use of social media
  • boundary or sexual transgressions (eg intimacy) with patients
  • mandatory notifications to AHPRA or regulators.

Membership benefits cover approved supervised student healthcare activities

  • Observation, taking a history or performing the physical examination of a patient.
  • Writing a patient management plan and interpreting investigations.
  • Administration and principles of admitting and discharging patients.
  • Communicating with patients, relatives and staff.
  • Basic clinical activities (dressing wounds, venepuncture, cannulation, suturing, assisting in surgery).
  • Basic dental activities (scale/clean, oral health instruction, simple extractions, restorations).

More than just insurance. MIPS is a membership organisation committed to providing members with the security and support they need through their career development. 

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Insurance cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy. The information provided is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances or needs. You should review the Member Handbook Combined PDS and FSG and/or contact MIPS on 1800 061 113, before making a decision. Information is current as at the date published.  

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