This is the third report to present information on public and private sector medical indemnity claims. The information was obtained from the Medical Indemnity National Collection (MINC), which is a national information base to assist policy makers in developing measures to minimise the incidence of medical indemnity claims and the associated costs.

The data in this report cover claims which were current at any time during the reporting period, 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2007. These claims include those which were open at the start of the reporting period, new claims which arose during the period and claims which had previously been finalised but were reopened during the period.

About four-fifths (85%) of claims finalised during the period were settled for less than $100,000. More than half (58%) were settled for less than $10,000, which included 22% where no payment was made. Claims with sizes in excess of $500,000 constituted 3% of all finalised claims.

Claims most commonly involved damage to Neuromusculo-skeletal and movement related structures and functions, such as paralysis of the arms or legs (21% of new claims). The next most common category of primary body function/structure affected was Mental functions/structures of the nervous system (15%), followed by Functions/structures of the digestive, metabolic and endocrine systems (12%).

For new claims where the age of the claim subject was specified, 5% of subjects were babies under 1 year of age, 8% were children aged from 1 to 17 years, and the remainder (87%) were adults aged 18 years and over.

The most common primary incident/allegation types recorded for claims were Procedure and Diagnosis problems. General surgery, Gynaecology and Neurosurgery were the clinician specialties where Procedure-related claims were the most common, while Diagnosis-related claims were the most common for Diagnostic Radiology and Emergency Medicine.