This section tells you more about DPL and MPS and the way it supports and protects dental members around the world. Because of the legal requirements and constraints relating to the provision of indemnity in Australia, DPL Australia is acting on behalf of MDA National Insurance when it manages cases involving DPL members, not providing medical indemnity insurance itself. But over and above this, DPL advises and assists members with many other professional needs which are not covered by the relevant legislation.
Dental Protection Ltd (DPL) is not an insurance company, but a mutual (not for profit) membership organisation. It is a wholly owned subsidiary company of the Medical Protection Society (MPS) which is the world's leading professional indemnity organisation for doctors, dentists and other healthcare workers.
DPL, within MPS, is a mutual membership organisation. The subscriptions paid by members over the years, have created a strong mutual fund which remains owned by the members themselves. We do not exist to make profits, and we have no commercial (profit making) partners seeking profits, or shareholders seeking dividends out of the subscriptions paid by our members. The mutual fund is held in trust for the members, and one of the responsibilities of the Board of DPL is to ensure that this fund is used only for the specific purposes for which members have paid their subscriptions.
At the end of 2011, MPS had more than $2.6 billion (Aus) in total assets available to meet claims – these assets are sufficient to meet both reported and potential future claims – a fully funded position. For full details and a copy of these accounts see financial information MPS website.
The assets of the organisation have been independently confirmed by an internationally respected firm of specialist consulting actuaries, to be sufficient to cover all known liabilities and charges and possible future liabilities and charges arising from incidents that have already occurred but which had not been reported at the end of 2011 ("IBNR"). This actuarial report has been prepared in accordance with the demanding GN12 protocol published by the Institute of Actuaries and the Faculty of Actuaries.
DPL is autonomously governed by its own Board of Directors, which consists of registered dentists. It is therefore owned by its members, and operated by dentists, for dentists and other members of the dental team; it exists solely to serve and protect the interest of its members under the terms of the Memorandum & Articles of Association of the MPS.
In Australia, the interests of our members are additionally protected by the Advisory Panel of DPL Australia Pty Ltd. Under the Chairmanship of Dr John McNamara, this Panel includes Dr Rod Brilliant, Dr Stuart Gairns, Dr Cos Maiolo, Prof Frank Monsour, Dr Janet Scott, Dr David Sykes, and Dr Tim Wigmore. Representatives of ADA(WA) and ADA(NT), with whom DPL has had a Scheme of Co-operation partnership for many years, also attend Panel meetings to ensure an open and transparent communication of information, and a consistent approach to matters of policy and support for members.
The Medical Protection Society has been protecting and supporting doctors, dentists and other healthcare professionals for well over a century and dentists have been members from the very beginning. The purpose of establishing Dental Protection Limited (DPL) in 1989 as a separate company within the MPS family of companies (but with its own Board of Directors consisting of registered dentists) was to ensure that the "doctors for doctors" principle which has been at the heart of MPS's success over the years, was extended to the dental profession.
DPL and its members thereby enjoy the best of both worlds: the ability to focus upon dental issues and the needs of dental members, while benefiting from the size, strength and experience of the parent organisation.
The professional needs of dentists and other members of the dental team are entirely different to those for other branches of medicine.
Dentists understand the fact that dental practice isn't the same as medical practice. We carry out different procedures, in different circumstances, and many of the problems we encounter are quite unlike those in medicine. It should therefore come as no great surprise that the problems that are faced by dentists are entirely different to those faced by medical practitioners, with different needs and priorities and different clinical situations to understand.
DPL is the world's largest and most experienced specialist provider of professional indemnity for dentists, dental hygienists and therapists, prosthetists, dental nurses and other members of the dental team. We provide professional indemnity only for the dental profession and all our energy can therefore be focused on serving and protecting members of the dental profession. Although DPL itself is no longer permitted to provide medical indemnity insurance in Australia for circumstances covered by the Act, many kinds of discretionary assistance and advice can still be provided by DPL to healthcare professionals over and above the scope of any insurance policy, both within or outside Australia. Indeed, relatively few of the 1,800 phone calls and emails handled by our dento-legal advisory team each month have anything to do with indemnity of any kind.
As our members are well aware, there is a huge value in being able to seek advice and assistance from an experienced colleague who really understands and can empathise with the situation you are in. The fact that this source of advice is confidential, independent, reliable and personal to you – with only your best interests in mind – makes it especially valuable.