The professional indemnity provider
keeping our doctors in practice

Launched in November 2016, EthiQal proudly offered South Africa’s first homegrown occurrence-based medical indemnity solution. With a firm belief that our doctors are a national asset that must be safeguarded for the well-being of our nation, we are committed to actively protecting our doctors, their practices and their patients.

As a company that cares about the future of medical care in South Africa, we collaborate with healthcare practitioners, their professional societies, the legal profession and government representatives to bring stability to the medico-legal landscape and to secure the future of the medical profession, while preserving and building medical care in the country for everyone’s benefit.

EthiQal - Your Professional Indemnity Partner

Our Vision

To support and enhance healthcare in South Africa by protecting our doctors and their patients through the enablement of optimised, innovative risk management solutions.

Our Mission

To be the leading provider of professional indemnity cover for healthcare providers, as well as their preferred risk management partner.

Our focus is on providing doctors with peace of mind and a sense of security that they’ve not had in the past, while also significantly reducing the cost of medical professional indemnity cover.

The EthiQal advantage

EthiQal provides comprehensive cover protected by South African laws and regulations. We are pioneers of fair dispute resolution and are committed to protecting our doctors to keep them in practice.

Real contracts for real cover

Our comprehensive cover is designed to support and protect you, your practice and your reputation, now and in the future. It provides peace of mind by the extent of cover provided and the reassurance that, when you no longer practice, claims arising from incidents during the period of insurance can continue to be reported.

As EthiQal is a registered Financial Service Provider, our contracts are enforceable within South Africa’s legislative framework, and we are held accountable in terms of Treating Customers Fairly.

Active Protection of Doctors

We firmly believe that our doctors are a national asset and must be protected. Our business model is underpinned by active risk management aimed at reducing medico-legal threats and stabilising professional indemnity premiums, while our business strategy is guided by a collaborative approach and the belief that real data will lead to real solutions.

Our investments are aimed at supporting doctor-driven risk management solutions like the development of practice guidelines, patient educational leaflets, informed consent forms, as well as the establishment of communication platforms and data repositories.

Policyholders may also benefit from a free practice management consultation to protect their practice.

Pioneers of fair dispute resolution

EthiQal’s in-house team of highly experienced lawyers and doctors is easily accessible, provides day-to-day medico-legal advice and oversees the claim adjudication and resolution process with the support of reputable law firms, all of whom have established track records of excellence in the medico-legal field.

As pioneers of fair dispute resolution, we are intolerant of unethical behaviour and vexatious claims and we are committed to intervening on these, where identified. To protect the practitioner and the patient against the mental strain of unnecessary prolongation of a dispute, to achieve the best outcome for both parties in the shortest possible time period, to avoid unnecessary legal fees and to restore the doctor-patient relationship, where possible, we actively promote mediation as an alternative to litigation. We are also advocates for impartial expert opinion panels.

Safeguard your Institution

As a healthcare institution, you prioritize the well-being of your patients and value the trust they place in your care. Your dedication extends to your employees, ensuring their security and peace of mind. At EthiQal, we understand the challenges and risks of running a modern-day medical facility. That’s because healthcare practitioners across South Africa look to us for support to help them increase practice efficiency, assure protection and stimulate growth. We understand what is needed to protect your Institution, your employees and your patients.

By partnering with us, we can help safeguard your Institution and ensure that you and your employees are covered when you need protection.

Meet the EthiQal team

Our highly skilled and professional team is committed to supporting our medical professionals and effecting positive change in our healthcare system.

Alex Brownlee

Chief Executive Officer and Actuary

Alex [FASSA FFA BSc(Hons)] is an experienced executive Actuary with extensive experience in product development, pricing, risk management, advanced analytics and technical marketing.

Over his career he has dealt in pensions, worked in life assurance in the UK, worked for an international health reinsurer and worked in a large healthcare company. He has worked both within insurers and as a consultant, but over the last seven years been involved at an executive level enjoying the balance of management, business and strategy development.

Alex has been an active HIV/Aids then Health committee member of the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA), as well as a member and secretary of the Health Section of the International Actuarial Association (IAA).

Varuna Naidoo

Head of Client Services and Business Development

Varuna is a passionate professional with a solid track record of delivery and leadership in many insurance business environments. Her past experience and knowledge will be of considerable value in helping achieve the mission of EthiQal to be the leading provider of professional indemnity cover for doctors, as well as their preferred risk management partner.

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

Dr Hlombe Makuluma

Medicolegal Advisor

Hlombe is a qualified general medical practitioner with a Masters in Medical Law and Ethics from the University of Pretoria. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the health industry from operating his own private practice and working for various corporates to health consulting.

At EthiQal, he provides medico-legal advice on various issues affecting the doctor, from general advice through to claims, complaints and notifications. He is the interface between the doctor and legal and risk management processes.

When not busy with work-related matters, he explores various mountain bike trails with his mountain bike. He has finished a couple of Cape Cycle Tours and 94.7 Cycle Challenges.

“If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.” – Jim Rohn

JP Ellis

Head of Claims and Legal Services

JP is an admitted attorney with B Comm and LL B degrees and was a senior attorney at an international law firm. His primary focus has been in the field of insurance law, medical malpractice work and health regulation. He is a trained mediator and has completed a certificate in medico-legal practice through the University of Cape Town.

Since joining EthiQal in 2017 he has been responsible for: overseeing claims management; providing advice and opinions on regulatory aspects pertaining to insurance and healthcare; drafting commercial documentation in compliance with the relevant insurance statutory framework; co-ordinating various law reform initiatives with industry stakeholders and government; providing medico-legal assistance and advice to medical specialists; providing general and legal advisory services to the business; and assisting in risk management initiatives.

JP most enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. His other interests include traveling and participating in combat sports such as full contact karate, Brazilian jujitsu, and mixed martial arts.

“You can’t do it unless you can imagine it” – George Lucas

Dr Bettina Taylor

Head of Clinical Risk Services

After starting her career in academic clinical practice, Bettina pursued her interests in health economics, medical ethics and risk management. She spent more than 20 years at Medscheme, where she led drug and health technology assessments and health policy, and where she engaged at industry level in healthcare financing reform.

She joined EthiQal in 2017, focused on driving EthiQal’s vision of supporting and enhancing healthcare by protecting South Africa’s doctors through the development and enablement of risk management solutions.

Relaxation time for Bettina includes open water swims in the Cape’s icy oceans and walks on the mountain. Whilst she successfully completed her first Robben Island crossing in 2017, doing the same without the protection of a wetsuit remains on her bucket list.

“Primum non nocere” – origin unknown

Barry Du Plessis

Head of Operations and Key Individual

Barry is a seasoned veteran of the insurance business. Barry is a family man and enjoys playing golf. Apart from holding different positions in the industry through the years, Barry has owned his own insurance brokerage and underwriting management business and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to EthiQal.

Barry is the newest member of our management team, having joined the team on 1 October 2022.