How we protect you

CMPA membership offers protection — and peace of mind.

Members are protected against medical-legal difficulties on a discretionary basis, based on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. They are eligible for assistance for matters arising from medical care provided while being a CMPA member, regardless of when such matters may arise — this is known as occurrence-based assistance.

When a patient initiates a claim against a member, the role of the CMPA is to defend the member as long as the care that was provided is defensible. If the standard of care was met, the integrity and reputation of the member will be defended against the claim. However, if experts conclude the standard of care was not met and this failure harmed the patient, financial compensation to the injured patient or the patient's estate will be provided.

The CMPA has no financial limits to the legal assistance it provides to members or to the damages paid to patients. This is good for doctors and patients.   

What is discretionary assistance?

Every inquiry the CMPA receives is unique and reflects the diverse nature of medical practice and the circumstances in which physicians find themselves. The CMPA uses discretion to extend assistance based on the facts and circumstances of a member's particular situation. Discretion allows the flexibility to expand the service provided to members, rather than deny assistance on the basis of defined policies.

The principles that guide CMPA assistance have evolved over time, often in response to members who have contacted the Association with the question, "Will the CMPA help me?

Find out more about CMPA's principles of assistance

What is occurrence-based assistance?

CMPA membership includes occurrence-based assistance, which means a member's protection extends from the date care was provided, irrespective of when a legal action or complaint is made.

Occurrence-based assistance is important because some medical-legal actions may be initiated many years after care was provided — even when the physician is not practising and is no longer a member. Occurrence-based assistance benefits physicians who have stopped practising for a period of time due to illness, parental leave, sabbatical, or other reasons. Former members remain eligible for assistance in retirement, and their estate is similarly protected should a legal action arise after they have passed on.

Keep your contact information current – even after ending or when interrupting your membership

To get the full benefit and value of CMPA protection, keep your contact information up to date. This helps us assist you if we learn that you, or your estate, are named in a legal action. Remember to contact us if you move or your contact details change – whether you are a current or past member.