Welcome protection for patients with govt’s new vaccine indemnity scheme

2nd Jul 2021

The Government’s announcement today that a new COVID-19 indemnity scheme will protect patients as well as health professionals is welcome, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

“It is essential that people who are willing to do what is required for the common good know that they can seek full compensation if they experience an adverse reaction,” said Mr Graham Droppert SC, National President, ALA.

"We support a ‘no-fault’ scheme to provide compensation if an individual experiences injury and economic loss as a result of the vaccination.

“Without this scheme patients may only get compensation if a health practitioner fails to exercise care or breaches Australian Consumer Law.  The ongoing impacts of complications could be serious and may not be covered by Medicare or the National Disability Insurance Scheme. There could also be major loss of income and longer-term disabilities which require financial assistance.

“We need to see the detail of the scheme as soon as possible and the government must consult broadly to ensure the scheme is structured so that people are not worse off under the scheme than without it.

“We are pleased to see the Government’s announcement indicates that an individual will retain the option to pursue legal action if they choose.

“It is important that the scheme does not prejudice existing workplace rights or other legislative entitlements and does not exclude an injured individual from receiving full compensation if they have been injured by negligent advice or negligent administration of the vaccine.”

Tags: Health, medicine and law COVID-19