In 2017, London will welcome members of the international medical and healthcare professional liability community for the Physician Insurers' Association of America (PIAA) International Conference.

From 4-6 October, attendees and delegates will address topics on the theme of 'Change and Disruption: Strategies for managing evolution in medical liability', at an event jointly hosted by the MDU and the Medical Protection Society (MPS). MDU chief executive Dr Christine Tomkins took some time out to explain our role and the importance of the event.

'We are the oldest mutual defence organisation in the world and have been providing doctors with medico-legal help, advice and indemnity since 1885,' explains Christine.

'The UK is effectively the place where the idea of medical professional indemnity was conceived, so it makes sense some 131 years after that to have this conference in London, which is not only the centre of the insurance and reinsurance community but also the birthplace of modern professional medical indemnity.'

October's conference is being held in a fantastic location right next to St Paul's cathedral, with a view over the Thames, with the Tate Modern art gallery and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre both within a few minutes' walk over the Millennium Bridge.

'We'll cover a wide range of issues impinging on medical liability worldwide,' continues Christine, 'including the economics of change in the medical market, transformation in the medical team, the effect of new technologies, cyber liability and security, big data and clinical coding, patient safety, mitigating emerging risks, and commercial themes on investment strategies, reinsurance and underwriting.

By coming together, we can discuss common themes and share ideas to spread success across our international community.

However, Christine makes it clear that you don't have to be directly involved as a company providing medical professional indemnity to get something out of attending the conference. 'There is a lot of interest in this for everyone who is a part of the medical professional indemnity industry; for example those involved with the legal process, with investment management, data analysis, patient safety, insurance, reinsurance and so on.'

The conference will give attendees the chance to hear a wide range of speakers, all of whom are experts in their particular fields. For example, Christine mentions Dr Maryanne Mariyaselvam, 'who's done some very interesting work on building safety designs into healthcare systems to minimise risk and error. She'll examine how innovations can help reduce error from known risks.'

Delegates can look forward to the opportunity to meet international members of the medical professional liability community, widen networks and learn from each other. 'We will be exploring and addressing the problems we all face in the medical liability world, and looking at the different ways in which we tackle these problems worldwide,' says Christine. 'By coming together, we can discuss common themes and share ideas to spread success across our international community.

'We have also chosen the timing carefully to coincide with the period when we expect many attendees will be renewing their reinsurance arrangements. With London being a reinsurance hub, we hope people coming to our conference can take the opportunity to conduct their reinsurance business while they're here.'

For more information and full details on how to register for October's conference, visit piaa2017.com.


This article was correct at publication on 02/06/2017. It is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.

Dr Christine Tomkins

Chief executive of the MDU

BSc(Hons) MBChB(Hons) DO FRCS FRCOphth MBA FFFLM FRCP

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