INTERSTATE medical experts and/or independent medical examiners are costing WorkCover thousands of dollars a day by travelling interstate to examine injured workers.
Sourced in part from the Sunday Mail (SA)
The medicos/IMEs are paid an hourly fee of about $439.50 – almost twice what the average worker earns in a day – as well as having their flights and accommodation covered by WorkCover.
And while waiting at the airport or sitting on the plane, the medical specialists are also paid up to $139 each for reading the first 12 pages of research notes, with a further $8.50 for each extra page…. And, needless to say that they are paid for “reading”… yeah a fiction book maybe or a magazine, for their answer is already pre-made or pre-agreed upon, huh!?
Independent medical examiners are flown in interstate at great cost
The Australian Medical Association branded the fly-ins as “hired guns“, whose job could be performed by local medical experts in the “overwhelming majority of cases”.
“They are trying to seek someone who, instead of giving an independent opinion, is giving the opinion they want,” state AMA president said.
How on earth can WorkCover justify paying doctors over $400 an hour to sit in an plane while some injured workers are literally going without a roof over their heads, food and medication? Not to mention that everything is done to cut off all their “benefits”,or whatever little is left of them! So why not spend that money on workcover victims? An extra physio session, some psychology, better weekly payments, etc?
WorkCover case managers can bring in independent medical examiners to review the diagnoses of doctors already treating injured workers. They are not even medically trained and don’t even understand what a doctor writes!
Almost one in 10 of the 557 experts have been flown in from interstate at a cost of $3.2 million to WorkCover, and this figure was for SA only!!!
Information about the individual payments are detailed in WorkCover’s Independent Medical Examiners Agreement (Schedule of Fees), a copy of which was also obtained by the Sunday Mail.
The schedule says: “All accounts must include the total time spent travelling as well as the distance travelled.”
WorkCover chief executive said interstate medical examiners, typically general surgeons, physicians, psychiatrists and orthopaedic surgeons, were used “in limited circumstances”.
“And the decision is usually based on … availability of appointments, area of speciality in which the medical practitioner works and location of the injured worker,” she said.
It would be interesting to know “how much money could WorkCover have saved by using state doctors instead of fly-ins?”
This money could have gone to return-to-work programs and retraining, which are drastically underfunded.
We all know that the interstate doctors have a reputation for being pro-workcover and that they are solely flown in for “difficult” cases – that is to find a way to deny a benefit or to certify a person fit, even if they are not.
The founder of the Work Injured Resource Connection, said she knew of an injured worker who was assessed in Adelaide by an orthopaedic surgeon based in southern Queensland.
“If (the surgeon) flew down … it would take at least five hours travelling time, at a cost of $2200, so you have to question why a local orthopaedic surgeon couldn’t be found to do the job,” she said.
This is just unbelievable… and again shows to what length workcover goes to ensure that your LEGAL entitlements are denied! These people really have no conscious and I don’t know how they can sleep at night. I sincerely hope and pray that each and every one of them involved will themselves get seriously injured on the job!
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