Professional Disputes Resolution

The Dental Cases Panel Pty Ltd (DCP) is a separate legal entity from ADAWA, however this advice is posted for the benefit of ADAWA members.


Until 2003 members of ADAWA carried their professional indemnity through a mutual indemnity organisation known as Dental Protection Ltd (DPL). When the Medical Indemnity (Prudential Supervision and Product Standards) Act was enacted in 2003 it became necessary for professional indemnity in the health professions to be provided by means of an insurance policy. [DPL did not ever provide indemnity by way of insurance]. ADAWA now provides members with the opportunity to obtain an insurance policy provided by MDA National Insurance Pty Ltd.* (MDANI).

In 2008 the Dental Cases Panel P/L was established to replace the ADA's Dental Cases Committee. The Dental Cases Panel (DCP) is the agent authorised by MDANI to manage all dental claims against ADAWA members who carry an MDANI policy. All members insured receive a copy of the Dental Indemnity Policy Important Information and Policy Wording when they take out a policy and are informed when relevant changes are made to the policy. It is important that members read the policy document to protect their interests.

The DCP consists of 9 senior members of the profession who meet regularly to determine the management of every claim under the MDANI policy. It operates in total confidentiality and members' privacy is totally respected at all times.

A highly experienced Case Manager is available in business hours every day to advise on any matter likely to, or actually resulting in a complaint or claim against an ADAWA member who holds an MDANI indemnity policy. Such discussions are completely confidential and without any obligation.

All incidents that may lead to a claim or an actual claim (whether received direct from a patient or from a third party such as AHPRA or a solicitor) should be immediately referred to DCP for advice or for assistance in making a reasoned response. A DCP Case Manager's many years of experience is at your disposal: any matters discussed will only be used in handling your concerns.

DCP is sometimes contacted directly (or through ADAWA) by an aggrieved patient, in which case DCP will contact the ADAWA member concerned seeking a response and it will attempt to resolve the issue.

Part of the policy states that the insurer may take necessary steps to mitigate the consequences of the claim. This usually means that, where a claim is accepted under the policy, the DCP will obtain a report from a DCP appointed, independent consultant, to help the Panel decide the merits of the patient's claim. If it is regarded by the DCP that the claim has merit, the insurer may attempt to resolve the problem by facilitating remedial treatment for the patient (claimant). Where it is considered that the treatment giving rise to the claim was below the appropriate standard of care, the DCP will request that the dentist pay (to DCP) some or all of the professional fees received from the patient to defray the costs of remedial treatment. Subject to the policy, MDANI will meet the costs of remediation less the amount refunded by the dentist if considered appropriate.

If a patient has commenced legal action against an insured ADAWA member, DCP can instruct solicitors to act on their behalf, and to brief counsel if appropriate.

DCP Case Managers can also assist members in responding to enquiries by a statutory body, such as AHPRA, HaDSCO, Health Consumers' Council or at a coronial inquest. Please call to discuss such matters as early as possible.

DPL (Dental Protection Ltd) provides some added protection (for matters that are not covered by the MDANI Dental Indemnity Policy and are not legally required to be covered by an insurance policy) and also offers some excellent CPD programs for members.


*Dental Indemnity Policy underwritten by MDA National Insurance Pty Ltd (MDANI) ABN 56 058 271 417, AFS Licence No. 238073.


Dental Cases Panel Pty Ltd
PO Box 34 West Perth WA 6872
Phone: (08) 9211 5627 Fax: (08) 9321 1757


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