Lead Article – June 2019


Is Your Doctor WorkCover Friendly?

Loaded question obviously!

Friendship is a very useful facility and one to be encouraged in our society. It permeates social, recreational and professional liaisons. It does not necessarily spell conflict of interest and neither should it be viewed as a threat.

smiling doc

Similarly, friendship should not favour one side over another when disputation occurs. The premise here is that doctors who are “WorkCover friendly” are sometimes hard-nosed, disgruntled, suspicious and Draconian. They have a tendency to doubt the veracity of claims made by injured plaintiffs, take a purist’s view of injury patterns, fail to recognise that the spectrum of response to injury can be broad and distil every claim to the lowest common denominator.

Like every Statutory Authority, WorkCover must operate within its rules and guidelines. The GEPI 2 scale forms the basis of impairment assessment and is both prescriptive and proscriptive.

workcover logo

Unlike the common law with PIPA and the CLA, the WorkCover Act does not always recognise variations from the mean and nuances that are sensitive to individual suffering. This is obviously why WorkCover Tribunal determinations are open to judicial review.

It should not really matter whether your doctor is “WorkCover friendly” or not. The goal is for objectivity, transparency and clarity of thought. Simple, straightforward and sometimes hard statements of fact can leave the injured plaintiff bewildered. A courteous explanation can go a long way to defusing anger and frustration.

confused patient

In essence, I don’t think you necessarily need a doctor that is “WorkCover friendly”, you simply need a doctor who is friendly.