DPL Australia (DPLA) has, for many years, supported members through difficult times and we know that there has never been a more important time for us to step forward and offer the flexibility and protection members need. Now, more than ever, we want to help them by protecting both their financial position and their wellbeing.
Helping members protect their financial security
We recognise the significant impact that COVID-19 is having on dental practice and know that many members have seen a significant reduction in their income – and we want to help. Along with our partner MDA National Insurance (MDANI), we are offering subscription and premium relief – in the form of a three month reduction of annual fees.
In recognition of the extraordinary situation we are in, and to ensure that the cost of indemnity is one less thing for members to be concerned about, all practising categories renewable on 1 July 2020 will see a reduction in the annual DPLA subscription and MDANI premium by three months. We hope that this will help members get through the difficult coming months. In addition, we are also investigating other flexible payment options, and will continue to keep the level and duration of subscription relief under active review.
Change of category
Many members have seen a sudden decline in the amount of work they are being asked to undertake. We understand the uncertainty that this is causing, and can offer members a number of part-time membership options, which will ensure they are still covered should they give advice or be called on to provide emergency treatment. These categories are offered at proportionally lower premiums, and a guide is available as a PDF here so that members can select an appropriate level of cover.
If, however, a member has decided to stop practising completely during the COVID-19 pandemic, then they do have the option of requesting we move them into a ‘leave of absence’ category. This leave category will provide them with cover against a claim or complaint arising from past practice, and would see their DPLA subscription provided for free and a reduced MDANI premium applied.
However, under the leave of absence category, members would not be covered for any practice of dentistry – including any ad hoc advice that they may provide from the date the leave of absence commences – or for any emergency treatment or advice that they may be called upon to give. To do so would also be in contravention of AHPRA’s requirement to be indemnified at all times that a member is practising.
Protecting members wellbeing
We understand that it is not only a financial strain that many members are experiencing, and so we recently announced that we have extended our counselling service to any member who is experiencing any work related stress or stress that they feel is impacting on their practice. Our counselling service is provided through an external professional counselling partner and is completely confidential.
As a member-owned organisation, our sole focus is to protect and support members, and never has this been more pertinent that during these unprecedented times. We want members to know that we are here and are ready to help, should they need us.
What do I need to do to request the subscription and premium relief?
This is an unprecedented move for both DPLA and MDANI and we are still finalising the process for issuing these renewals. We will provide an update with more detail soon, but for now members who are on a practising grade will be able to benefit from this change without taking any further action.
I would like to arrange a change of category – what do I need to do?
Please contact us by email at [email protected]. Please also include your BSB and bank account number so that we can arrange any refund that may be due as a result of your change in category.
Is there a cost to accessing the counselling service?
No, our counselling service is provided free of charge to members. More information on this service can be found here.