Feedback from LMA members who are with the MDU and from contacts in the insurance industry (with whom I have been discussing the situation and exploring alternatives should it prove necessary) points to the MDU adopting a similar stance to that taken by the MPS, in that they will continue to provide cover on the same basis as in the past (see: http://www.themdu.com/guidance-and-advice/latest-updates-and-advice/are-you-licensed-for-lourdes ). As with the MPS, the conditions of the cover are likely to be more explicit and contingent upon being notified in advance of the member's intention to travel during specified dates.
Following the recent statement from the MPS there has been some expectation from LMA members of a similar statement from the MDU. Having spoken with the MDU today, however, I understand that they have no plans to issue a statement on the matter but that they continue to consider indemnity cover for their members for Lourdes as in the past, contingent on their members discussing this with the MDU in advance.
I am delighted to report that yesterday, 26 February 2015, the Medical Protection Society issued the following clarification to their previous advice on provision of cover for UK doctors working temporarily elsewhere in the EU.:
"further to a review by our Risk Department, MPS will continue to offer indemnity to members accompanying individuals on a Lourdes pilgrimage subject to the following conditions:-
· Your indemnity extends only to treatment of members of the organised group that you are accompanying.
· Indemnity is available in relation to matters brought in your home jurisdiction only.
· Different territories may have different legal, regulatory or licensing requirements that need to be met to allow a doctor to practice medicine in that territory. It remains your responsibility to ensure that you meet any such requirements."
In essence, I believe this is the same cover as previously provided albeit with certain clarifications.
Dialysis: at the time of writing it appears likely that the rin Lourdes will close in March. There will be dialysis facilities in Pau, for those who require them. see dialysis lourdes (in French – translation to follow shortly)
Medical indemnity: there is some uncertainty over the continuing extension of medical cover to doctors in Lourdes by the medical defence organisations. This follows a change in EU law with France stipulating that mdical indemnity must be underwritten by insurance, rather than mutual, cover. This matter is currently being explored and clarification sought. It will also be discussed at the forthcoming Seirbhis conference in Dublin in March.
For the letter written by Dr Robert in 2011 click on Letter from Board of Medical Practitioners of High-Pyrenees, May 2011
Membership: at the recent meeting of the LMA the constitution was amended to extend membership broadly to all groups of healthcare workers who come to Lourdes. This was enthusiastically adopted by the membership and we look forward to welcoming new members.
AGM and Conference 2016: it is planned to hold the 2016 meeting in Crawley at the end of January 2016. Further details will be available in due course.
It may be helpful to make available here the advice issued in 2013: LMA Advice regarding expected standards of care including resuscitation
Some talks from the conference in Glasgow are available on the following page:http://lourdesdoctors.org/conference/