I have become aware that the option of making comments on this article is no longer available.
Choosing Wisely was published recently and I was expecting some feedback from small business on this matter.
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As an occupational physician in private medical practice in Hobart, Tasmania - the southernmost state of Australia, I see workers referred by their general practitioners with various types of work-related injuries and diseases. These are mostly musculoskeletal injuries, both of traumatic and gradual onset as well as various associated psychological disorders. With interaction with patients for treatment and providing advice about rehabilitation, I have the opportunity, first-hand, to observe interactions between individual patients and compensation systems. I also conduct independent medical assessments, including impairment assessments for musculoskeletal injuries and asbestos-related disease compensation. This provides another perspective of workers within compensation systems.
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Peter you and I have had this discussion previously.
Until the injured workers are able to engage as a “equal partner” within the process there will always be an out of balance issue.
I don’t know enough of Worker Assist to be able to comment on it, what I do know is that injured workers struggle to trust “the system” simply because they don’t know who they can trust and who appears trustworthy but in reality isn’t.
EG one injured worker weekly outing was to attend church, as a way of assisting another congregation member who could no longer drive, the injured worker called to collect the congregation member on the way to service, and then drop the congregation member home after service.
Not one single sinister thing in that.
Until the injured worker told the rehab that this was happening, the rehab told the claims agent and the injured worker was then told that the act of fellowship as akin to pastoral care and that ended up in a Tribunal Hearing.
I know it sounds silly, but that is how injured workers are left to question who they can and can’t trust.
Thus until the injured worker community is trusted and treated as an equal partner in the process there is going to be division and suspicion.