AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid welcomed the Government’s scheme, which follows months of work by the AMA and Health Minister Greg Hunt to deliver a genuine no-fault scheme for patients, health professionals, and employers.
“The AMA has led the push for the introduction of this scheme, and worked closely with the Government, medical defence organisations and the business sector including, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” Dr Khorshid said.
“This scheme is a vote of confidence in the safety of the vaccines being used in Australia and sends a strong message to patients that, in the extremely rare case of serious side effects, you can access compensation without having to resort to expensive and complex litigation.
“The new scheme will apply regardless of where you received your vaccine – whether it is at your local GP, state/territory run health service, workplace, or other approved health provider.
“The new scheme ensures that health care workers involved in the vaccine rollout are not put through distressing court processes for simply playing their role in administering lifesaving vaccines as part of Australia’s pandemic response.
“No fault vaccine compensation schemes are used around the world, recognising the community benefit of high rates of vaccination and the need for the community to look after the very small number of people who experience serious side effects,” Dr Khorshid.
Dr Khorshid said under the scheme, injured patients can apply to Services Australia for Commonwealth funded compensation. An expert panel will assess the veracity of claims and determine common law equivalent compensation settlements funded by the Commonwealth.