General Advice – February 2022

General Advice – February 2022

The Plight of the WorkCover Patient

I rarely perform IME’s for WorkCover, but regularly see plaintiffs being sent along for a second opinion after having received an unpleasant WorkCover settlement offer.


Whilst the principal problem is the perceived inadequacy of the offer, there is a list of accompanying complaints which has become disturbingly familiar.

These include difficulties contacting their counsellor by ‘phone, ‘phone messages left unattended for days, a lack of sympathy for their circumstance (especially when finances are considered), being sent to Orthopaedic Surgeons who are excessively gruff and rude and a whole process that tends to grind them down.

I understand that there are many perspectives and some injured workers can be extremely demanding. In an effort to generate a level of compassion for them all, I recognise that had it not been for the accident (which was invariably not their fault), none of this would have happened to them. They feel anger, frustration and a sense of helplessness.



I don’t have any suggestions as to how the system could be improved, but a bit of compassion from the orthopaedic assessor could go a long way towards smoothing the turbulent waters.