More and more GPs and many specialist doctors refuse to treat workcover patients. Many doctors (including my own) state that they are just fed up with the extremely time consuming and “overwhelming”, “ridiculous” amount of paperwork required by WorkCover, for which they are most often not paid.
GPs and specialists are frustrated with the bureaucracy, red-tape and drawn-out processes they encounter when dealing with WorkCover. GPs are not remunerated (read: Paid) for phone calls or for filling out lengthy forms and find the processes extremely convoluted.
Some GPs and specialists have refused to deal with WorkCover because they are fed-up with endless red tape and poor processes associated with treating victims of road accidents and workplace injury.
Also, more and more Victorian surgeons are reportedly refusing to care for patients after initial injuries are treated at hospital emergency departments, leaving some patients unable to receive treatment for long-term complications.
It’s a common occurrence for many workcover victims to be turned away for treatment or a medical assessment purely because they are WorkCover claimants.
My own specialist surgeon now also refuses to see/treat workcover patients. I am the only one left! He has made numerous comments about the ridiculous, unpaid amount of paperwork he has to deal with (in between his extremely busy theatre schedule – hey he is a trauma surgeon); he also states that very often he will encounter some really bizzare challenges, such as hearing is own expert opinion being challenged by some uneducated, non-medically trained case manager! In addition, he can easily see and treat 3 to 4 normal (private) patients in the same time as it takes to see/treat just one workcover patient, again because of the necessary paperwork, unpaid phone calls, repetitive reports etc. He also finds it extremely frustrating that he has to wait for months before he can obtain approval for surgery for his patients, and that he has “to see them (their injury) deteriorate before his eyes and yet nothing can be done”.
He has – sadly- now also put a notice on his website that he does not see/treat workcover (and TAC) patients.
I have also tried desperately (upon medical advice) to seek a second opinion re the type of surgery proposed for my injury (after 9 failed operations) and was horrified to hear all of them (top specialists in the field) turn me away before I could even utter a word – because I am on workcover and doctor so and so’s policy is that he/she does not take on workcover cases.
This leaves us – workcover victims- most often with really bad (not reputable) specialists and it is no wonder that we suffer many complications and unsuccessful surgeries. This, of course, at Workcover’s ongoing cost…. who are too stupid to make a fundamental change to their policies to make life easier for those medical practitioners that still have a heart.
In a way I don’t blame those doctors for refusing to take us on (although it begs the question of how on earth they swore that they would heal the sick and injured, regardless of their race, religion, money etc). If you think of how much shit you (the victim) have to deal with on a daily basis, just multiply this by 30,40, 50 and that’s what the doctor needs to deal with, without receiving any compensation for it.
As an afterthought I think all people working for workcover should also be denied any (decent) medical treatment 😉
To my surgeon: thank you for putting up with WorkCover’s sh*t for so long, thank you for (still) treating me and for treating me like a human being. If it wasn’t for you, God knows where I’d stand by now…
To my case manager from hell: How dare you, pathetic, uneducated, bureaucratic, sad f***k , challenge the opinion of one of the best and most experienced surgeons in the state – on the phone! Get a life!