Recently I have received criticism that I am blaming the system, specifically the insurers/claims agents, for poor outcomes and not directing any criticisms towards other parties, particularly the medical profession (or injured workers themselves for that matter).
The purpose of this blog is to highlight an issue of personal concern to me i.e. that there is unnecessary collateral damage to injured worker’s health from the system that manages claims. This has come about through my experiences as a doctor on the ‘front-line’ following the progress of injured workers in the local compensation systems within which I work.
It is unsurprising, if insurers or claims agents are responsible for administering the system, that my blog might be seen as critical of them. While I have been critical of some practices by insurers and claims agents, my view is that these practices are encouraged by the system itself. My intention is to be constructive with a focus on system redesign, rather than the ‘blame game’.
At present, I also have the role as Convenor of the Tasmanian AMA’s Workers Compensation Reform Committee. I also convene the meetings between that committee and representatives of the insurers in Tasmania (The AMA – Insurer Forum). While there is an overlap in the issues between those of personal concern to me, as expressed in my Blog and those of the medical profession more generally (as represented by AMA Tasmania), the AMA Committee has a much broader focus.
The title of the AMA presentation to insurers about issues of concern to the medical profession was ‘A Question of Balance’. There has been as much recognition of the need to change the approach by doctors to managing work-related injury as changes by insurers. I believe those who are informed within the medical profession do recognise the need to have greater input into the workers compensation system, with doctors taking more responsibility for outcomes.
This blog does focus on a narrower range of issues that I think are relatively misunderstood, but I do not suggest that there are not a broader range of factors relevant to the effectiveness of our compensation systems.
This blog does not represent the views of the AMA, just my own!
Peter what I have found as I have also joined the blog writers is that people who don’t agree with what is written or don’t allow open dialogue condemn and complain as a way of shutting us up and shutting us down.
As I have said to all of them who have written some very nasty and exceedingly offensive e-mails to me is that they do not have to like what I write, they don’t have to agree with what I write they don’t even have to read what I write.
All that is required is that they accept that I write from my own view point, I reflect what I see in the work that I do.
If the system is uncomfortable with that then I have done them a favour by highlighting an issue that others have not spoken out about.
Thus if others have issues with what you write it is their own values that they need to check in with not yours.
Peter, you are asking the very questions that other players in our Workers’ Compensation systems cannot or will not answer with any degree of honesty. It is not therefore surprising that you will receive some critical comments from those with vested interests in preserving the status quo. But thanks to social media, your voice is being heard! Keep up the good work.
Well said John
The criticism was not about maintaining the status quo nor criticising some of the very constructive suggestions in both Peter’s blog and the “a question of balance” paper.
Both the Self Insurers and the Licensed Insurers in Tasmania are mature enough to work closely with Peter and the AMA to forward these constructive suggestions to Government to in an attempt to improve “the system”.
The criticism was more about some of the statements up front in both articles. These statements were about other players within the system. Some of the statements made are not necessarily correct (more perceptions) and then there was little or no acknowledgment of what part he (Peter) and some of his colleagues at the AMA play in why the system is in the state he talks about.
I am going to meet Peter about some of these issues.
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