NSW Orthopaedic Surgeons will meet in Sydney, 5 May 2002, to discuss the plight of patients of Orthopaedic Surgeons who are insured with United Medical Protection (UMP) following UMP’s announcement today that it will be making an application to the court to appoint a provisional liquidator.

“We hope that by Sunday we will be in a position to know what the impact of UMP’s collapse will be on Orthopaedic patients in NSW,” said Dr Charles New, Chairman ASOS (NSW).

“We will also be liaising with our Queensland colleagues whose patients are also directly affected by UMPs demise.”

“Any solution involving the transfer of private patients into the public hospital system (where Visiting Medical Officers (VMOs) can obtain cover from the NSW Treasury Managed Fund) will not work. Already some NSW public hospitals are only admitting patients on a Life Threatening Only (LTO) basis as we head into the winter bed shortage period.”

“Because of recently introduced NSW legislation doctors must have public and private medical indemnity insurance to practise medicine in NSW. Now this approved insurer has collapsed. Where to next?”

Dr New said, “Whilst the NSW government has recently introduced indemnity cover for VMOs treating public patients in public hospitals, there are still many outstanding issues to be resolved before Orthopaedic Surgeons are satisfied that this contract will give them adequate protection.”

“ASOS is committed to the highest standards of private and public patient care. Orthopaedic Surgeons will be informing their patients directly as to what impact UMP’s collapse will have on them. We want minimal disruption for our patients and we will do everything we can to try and achieve this,” Dr New said.