Tuesday, 19 June 2018 11:51

ABC News reports that employers wanting to be present during the medical consultations of injured workers have been told by the WA Government regulator WorkCover that they are not welcome to do so. A ‘clarifying notice’ was issued after WorkCover acknowledged the practice of some employers attending medical appointments with their employees who were injured.

WorkCover’s notice on the matter states that “There is no legal or operational basis for employers or their representatives to be present during a medical consultation between an injured worker and a treating doctor”. It went on to state that “This applies even where treatment is recommended or facilitated by the employer.”

Minister for Industrial Relations Bill Johnston welcomed the clarification. “Clearly all workers have a right to see a doctor about treatment without interference from any other person,” he said.

“Of course employers have a right to get a medical report, case summaries and all those things, but in respect of the treatment, that is a matter between a doctor and a worker, as it is with any other person consulting a doctor.”

WorkCover also intended to clarify the requirements relating to worker choice of doctor.

“Injured workers have the right to choose their own treating medical practitioner for the purpose of medical treatment and initiating a workers’ compensation claim,” the notice said.

“Employers may recommend a medical practitioner to the worker.”

“However, an employer or insurer should not require or coerce an injured worked to attend a medical practitioner nominated by them for the purpose of medical treatment of a work place injury and the worker obtaining certification for claiming compensation.”

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