Workcover independent medical examinations: a horrid experience

preparing-for-independent-mdeical-examination

Yesterday, we received an anonymous email (via our share a story page) from an injured worker who has experienced a horrible independent medical examination at the hands of a Victorian doctor Chris Baker, an Occupational Physician. This horrid appointment -as s/he rightly calls it has- unfortunately stayed with him/her for years.

Workcover independent medical examinations: a horrid experience

This is part of a letter of complaint the anonymous injured worker sent to my his/her case manager after an assessment with Dr Chris Baker:

I would also like to inform you of my disapproval of the following in regard to Dr Chris Baker’s appointment and capacity report:
  • Being consulted from behind a screen that could easily have been moved. I had to lie down for the majority of the appointment as I was in a great deal of pain. Dr Baker didn’t mind me resting obviously but didn’t feel the need to look at me while he asked his questions. I find this very unprofessional and incredibly demoralising and uncomfortable and have never come across such treatment with any practitioner. Dr Baker sat behind his desk and only saw me when he had to examine me and I had to stand up. [WTF!!!]
  • Questions that Dr Chris Baker chose to ask such as: How long have I been married, how successful was our (my other half and my) business, did we have regular clientele, did I have any other source of income and how did I see myself earning an income in the future? I don’t feel these questions were necessary nor relevant to assessing my ‘work history’ or my capacity. No other Occupational Physician has asked me these questions before.
  • Not being given enough time to answer questions and being rushed and cut off in mid sentence. I feel this clearly did not allow Dr Baker to get a full understanding of my issue. I feel it impossible that Dr Baker, no matter how much experience, can assess my condition of 25 months during such a short and abrupt appointment.

Clearly one of his ideas of distributing leaflets indicates he did not understand or listen to me and that he is not very perceptive, even after peering into my bag. And though Dr Baker asked ‘did you put on your Sunday best for me?‘, after he saw me struggle to get my shoes on, it wasn’t enough attention for him to see the inability to carry many personal items. I am not quite sure how he thinks I may be able to push a trolley with weight, bend down and up or carry this weight.

This horrid appointment has stayed with me for years. How can this be allowed?

 

We thank “Anonymous” from the cockles of our heart for having the courage to share this horrible story 😉

It  is very well known that some IMEs (independent medical examiners) have a reputation for being pro WorkCover; that is, they are more likely to provide a report that is favourable to the claims manager’s interests and hence detrimental to the injured workers. 

These include independent medical examiners, such as Dr Chris Baker, who are engaging in unorthodox practices, designed to intimidate injured workers and who are also known as HIRED GUNS.

Yesterday Atlas Legal Au also gave us a very useful commentary about bullying and harassment and also about keeping ‘evidence’:

if you are called into a meeting about your complaint, its investigation, or work performance as a result of you lodging a complaint about harassment and bullying you are entitled to electronically record any such conversation so long as the other side is aware that you will be recording the conversation.  The same goes with Doctors and or specialists.  Time and again, insurance company doctors and specialists treat injured workers with disdain and contempt. If you wish to do so you should be allowed to electronically record everything that is said in your consultation with that Doctor.  That is the most accurate way to keep a record of what was said during the consultation as well as a way to make sure that the Doctor remains professional and courteous during your consultation….. Read more

Experienced something similar? Share your story! The people need to know. Help us uncover the real workcover system!

38 Responses to “Workcover independent medical examinations: a horrid experience”

    • I am seeing Dr Chris Baker tomorrow.
      Thanks for to warning. I’ve had a very similar experience before.

  1. Dodgy doctors must be exposed.

    If you have been sent to a so-called Independent Medical Examination by your insurer you can bet your bottom dollar that they are on the “special” list of doctors that insurers love to use.

    Always take a support person with you and immediately seek legal or union advice if you are referred to one of the Scheme Agent or insurer’s quacks.

  2.  

    I am so angry after reading this yesterday, I had to read this many times as I could not believe what I was reading. As this IME Occupational Physician and also a Medical Panel doctor, did an interview with the Sunday Age. This is part of her interview “it can be wearing dealing with people who do nothing but complain all day” “You’re not necessarily seeing people at their best; they can be dirty, they can be smelly, unkempt and unco-operative. You have to be very tolerant, because you come across people from all walks of life.”  We are quoted as“low lying fruit”by the newly appointed Workcover CEO. Yet to be homeless, no money for medications, have a family breakdown, wait years to get treatment for injuryies, harrassed and bullied by Case Manager, RTW, IME’s that don’t even read, diagnose and totally ignore other highly qualified Specialists, Medical Professionals and now so many Doctors that won’t even work within the Workcover Arena because of these IME’s that are just cash cows! Wait years to gain access to the Court system. Pay thousands of dollars for this priveledge to just prove that all of the above has happened!

    These IME’s are talking about defamation!!!

     

    • Thank you “R” – we really appreciate your supported view in this rather disgusting matter. It does really show how certain IMEs operate – talking about adding INSULT to injury. Many are indeed trained in the art of INTIMIDATION, and don’t get us wrong, many lawsuit threatening “IME’ are also supposedly “well qualified” “shrinks”?  Wow?! We do wonder whether it is the workcover insurer (the hand that feeds ’em) that pays for their uneducated lawyer letters… mmmh…?

      workcovervictim3 November 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm
  3. It has come to our attention via another source that Dr [censored], psychiatrist who is also undertaking regular IME assessments for workcover insurance companies in Victoria has threatened workcovervictimsdiary.com for defamation regarding 2 anonymously posted comments (above by “injured” and “anonymous”) back in February this year where part of her name “”[censored] and Dr {censored] and [the letter] ” were used and not immediately censored by admin (see our legal disclaimer).

    As is clearly stated in our legal disclaimer:

    “If an individual happens to be named in a defamatory or derogatory manner in a comment, by a visitor, without written evidence of the alleged misconduct (either in text/link/attachment) the Administrators do not endorse that comment and will censor the named individual as soon as practically feasible. Given the large volume of daily comment this blog receives, it may be possible that the comment(s) is/are not censored immediately. Please be patient. Should you have a concern about a particular comment, we urge you to contact the Administration of the blog via “info@workcovervictimsdiary.com” as soon as possible.”

    Given the seriousness and, frankly drastic action sought by a Dr [censored] , consultant Psychiatrist, Melbourne, Vic, and her Lawyers, and even though workcovervictimsdiary.com’s administrators did not personally receive the legal letter, a workcovervictimsdiary.com nevertheless wishes to state the following:

    1. the names used within the comments were deemed not really identifiable – there are a number of Dr [censored] (no first name) in Australia, “Dr [letter]” and Dr “[first name]”means nothing, no state or location was given either

    2. workcovervictimsdiary.com is concerned about the amount of comments, both published and unpublished received about certain IMEs – given the current evidence (AMA) of a widespread problem re biased and, frankly, unprofessional IME assessments in all states in Australia. Aworkcovervictimsdiary.com operates in the BEST interest of injured workers and is extremely concerned when several injured workers report certain medical assessors, doctors, case managers or any other  workcover “stakeholder”and takes those, most often documented and validated concerns very serious. Many injured workers have been DEFAMED by independent doctors and have experienced extreme pain, suffering, damage and grief because of it, without ever receiving an apology, even though their physical and/or mental ‘assessments’ may have been ‘rectified’ thanks to legally binding Medical Panel opinions

     

    3. The names (first name, letter T and word [censored]) have now been removed from the alleged “offending” commnets- however we would have been grateful if you would have dropped us an email and alerted us rather than to serve other unrelated websites with a legal threat for defamation!

    4. workcovervictimsdiary.com (administrators) is in receipt of several psychiatric  “assessment” reports from injured workers and would be happy to publicly publish those as well as the comparative psychiatric assessments as conducted by a medical panel of psychiatrists

    5. As our legal disclaimer clearly state aworkcovervictimsdiary does not endorse or condone comments by injured workers. This site does not endorse, approve or condone any statements or comments made by any injured worker, however in view of the adversarial action taken by a Dr [censored], we have ensured all referrals to “[censored], or Wendy or T” have been removed”.

    6. workcovervictimsdiary.com apologises to anyone who believes they have been truly or accidentally negatively affected by those two comments referring to “[letter], [censored] or [first name]”

    7. workcovervictimsdiary.com’s heart also goes out to the many injured workers affected by IME assessments in general.

     

    You may also want to refer to the case Allianz vs workcovervictimsdiary.com

    We would also urge you or anyone interested to read our legal write ups (written by our lawyers) re defamation laws in Australia

    PS

    As stated on the disclaimer, and as any person in their right mind would do, and as stated in the defamation act, if any person has a concern about a derogatory comment or potential defamatory comment, the first thing they’d do is contact the administrators of the blog and discuss the issue.
    There is NO NEED to threaten us (or anyone) or this blog with a lawsuit and make inappropriate, uneducated and rather intimidating demands.
    Be very grateful we did not publish your full name and location and report – also be mindful that should you wish to proceed with “defamation” the affected injured workers will ALL testify ..
  4. Just do a search for Dr Lawrence Dominic Terace.

    Flown from his home base in Perth across the breadth of Australia, always happy to do the dirty work of insurance companies.

  5. Reasonable is what is in the guidelines.

    • Sure it SHOULD be per the guideline and the ACT – however, as Soula writes here, it is just outrageous that she would have to fight to have the treatment (device – implant) paid for/reimbursed by going to  the Federal Court at her expense! Even if she wins, she’ll lose because of the legal costs and the insurance knows that and abuses such situations. It’s just plain fraud, it’s criminal.

  6. There are many treatments for which injured workers have to be assessed. For example surgery or  the implanting of a spinal column stimulator.  So our insurance companies send us to the famous “independent doctor” for the assessment.

    But who assesses for these things? Can such screening be done by IMEs hired and paid by insurance companies?

    Can you objectively assess for something from which you will make money? Can you hire someone to perform the assessment when you are the source of their income, and then ask them to objectively deny a procedure from which you (and indirectly they) make money?

    Just my 2 cents worth

    • Good point!

    • in regard to the stimulation device, i have one! i couldn’t wait for the pain relief, i know it would have taken my insurer around a year to approve so i went through my private health insurer.

      my point is, even after i had it implanted and was able to report and show a difference in my pain levels, it still wasn’t reimbursed. this issue got to two conciliators: conciliator 1 (unprofessional) actually asked me how an implant can help my psychological condition (whilst holding my all clear psych reports and my neurosurgeon’s reports of improvement), the other conciliator (professional this time) did all he could but unfortunately advised me he couldn’t approve any medical treatments $5k and above and I can only have the option of taking my insurer to federal court.(yes, hang on everyone, let me get my spare 20k out just to begin this process!)

      nice one hey? read about it here AND PLEASE SHARE IT: http://www.pudendalnerve.com.au/2012/01/21/chronic-pain-disorder-medical-panel-opinion/

      this horrendous treatment has to STOP.

  7. They are also extremely proficient at doctor shopping – they will send injured workers to IME after IME until such a time some corrupt dickhead states something in Allianz/Xchanging’s favour and then — USE that. Even if you have 5 + reports and 1 -, they will use the one negative. It is fully sick.

    Read: http://workcovervictimsdiary.com/2011/10/dont-become-the-victim-of-a-workcover-insurer-doctor-shopping/

     

    • In NSW insurers are not allowed to doctor shop. An injured worker can only be sent to an IME in very specific circumstances — it’s written into the mandatory guidelines.

      Links to NSW information:

      http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/medicalhealthcare/Medicalpractitioners/Independentmedicalexaminer/Pages/default.aspx
      http://www.workcover.nsw.gov.au/formspublications/publications/Pages/independantmedicalexamintationsreports.aspx (PDF)

      • Same in Victoria – there are set guidelines as per the online claims manual, and yet nobody enforces these guidelines, not even WorkSafe!

        An example: it says in there that they can only send you to an IME when they are not able to get the necessary information from your own doctor/specialist…. DUH?

        • Then you should not attend an IME appointment that has not been made in accordance with the guidelines.

          My union has phoned the insurer every time and had such inappropriate appointments cancelled. The insurer knows it is acting illegally but tries it on. The questions were then put to my own doctor.

          • I have managed to cancel one such inappropriate IME through my solicitors.

            Bloody oath they try it on every time.

            Last time I had to attend an IME I received less than 48 hours notice and asked if I could reschedule as I was to undergo major and painful tests the day before – the case manager wrote back stating that if I did not attend my benefits would be instantly terminated based on “noncooperation” WTF! She also wrote that under the Act you have to attend an IME… and guess what the Act is also rather vague as it states that they can send you at “reasonable intrevals” and ‘from time to time” – now, tell me what is reasonable? 5 per year? i don’t think so! Most lawyers I have spoken with believe that it’s about 1 to 2 IMEs per year!

  8. dear injured,

    thank you for listing [name censored] i saw her and she’s seriously not right. i spent the whole appointment wondering who should really be on the other side of her fancy lecturn (must make her feel important).

    i spent my whole appointment telling her about a great new treatment i’ve found that no one in ‘the system’ is acknowledging and in the end she starts to right on her sticky note about a treatment she’s heard about. i interrupted her writing by asking her if she was talking about ‘noi’ group and their wonderful research? she surprisingly answered, ‘yes’ as if to say ‘how the hell would YOU know?’ so i told her that was exactly the treatment i’ve been raving about to everyone and they hadn’t been listening to, the very frustration i had been expressing to her (hello, anyone listening?). Well, she didn’t like it for heaven knows what reason and just dropped her sticky note (not passing it to me), got up, opened the door, interrupted me and said ‘we’re done now’, walked past me to her desk which was behind me (you’d know what i’m talking about), and left me sitting there to let myself out. i looked at the sticky note, it did say ‘noi’ on it. i received no hand shake, no ‘your insurer will have the report’ no ‘good luck’ not even ‘goodbye’… and this woman is assessing me AND SHE’S GETTING PAID FOR IT?

    i didn’t read her report when it arrived months later. what credibility could there be in the information provided by an insecure practitioner who’s making dodgy dollars off an injured worker’s (injured) back (pardon the pun)?

    Xchanging, did you pay for this? Of course not, it was the tax payer. And then we cop ‘we’re wasting tax payer’s dollars’… you could have just asked my doctor how i’m doing or the psych I saw months ago that i dont need to see again (telling hey?). But Xchanging you weren’t interested in this report were you? In fact you terminated all my medical expenses on account of my last ‘ime reports’ before you even received the  report. So why did you send me there???

    Hon Gordon Rich Phillips, is this the best WorkSafe Agent you could get me? are you happy with the practitioner they assigned to judge me? Did you like the report you paid for? Did it tell you what you needed to know? Actually, you didnt get it in time did you, your worksafe agent terminated all my medicals before they even saw this report. Is this how you intend them to help injured workers get back to work? Good job Minister. xx

    • Interesting – I am also with Xchanging (case manager goes by the first name of S) and was also sent to Dr [Censored]. What an utterly miserable woman indeed. My injury is physical, then I got sacked at work, then got suicidal and was on psych treatment. I was sent to her 3 MONTHS after I had been sent to another IME psych (who was OK) and had written me off purely on depression lone. This Doctor was sitting behind a “chalk board” making notes, barely looking at me. When I arrived there I sat down and gently “slid” copies of psych reports to her across the table in particular a letter from my treating psych kindly asking her to refrain to make me talk about the accident as I suffer from severe PTSD and repeatedly having to recall this screws me up. She stated in her report that ” I was glaring at her. Extremely angry. And that I had FLUNG a bunch of papers at fer face”????????

      During the assessment she asked about family etc and I told her that my mother had died when I was young and she asked me how. I told her in an accident (car) with another person. She TOLD me that “there is thus NO proof that she committed suicide”… WTF??? She even wrote this in her report – how INSULTING – just imagine! She was obviously looking for other causes of my depression – the bitch! I was really shocked.

      A few months later Xchanging wanted me to see this doctor AGAIN. I asked why and they said because she stated in her report I needed to be reviewed. I  told them that this other IME psych had also requested I be reviewed yet they sent me to Dr [censored] instead. WHY?

      In the end my solicitor managed to have me referred to an IME psych other that this Doctor, whom I refused to see ever again. We were very successful and the new IME backed up the first IME psy and totally trashed Dr[ censored], haha.

      This IME is NUTS and very dangerous. If you ever get sent to her, speak to your lawyer and use the evidence here to back up your request to be sent to an other truly independent IME.

      As the Act and Xchanging states all IMEs are “independent” – so they have NO LEG to stand on sending you to known hired guns.

      I will never be able to erase this bitch’s face from my memory.

      workcovervictim3 February 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm
      • It seems to me that Xchanging, like Allianz, is out of control. Together they must be the most unscrupulous insurers in Australia.

        • I could not agree more – Allianz and Xchanging should NOT be ALLOWED to carry workcover insurance on behalf of WorkSafe and our government. Enough is enough – one has to draw the line somewhere.

          Xchanging also has the filthy HABIT of discrediting the best and most renowned surgeons of Australia (even via personal telephone call!).

          For example: my surgeon prescribed/recommended X. He is the BEST Australian surgeon in a particular injury field. The case manager phoned him and personally insulted his prescription (he told me). Then I get a letter from the case manager telling me they had “spoken to my surgeon” and “based on what he says, an urgent independent medical examination is needed to OBJECTIVELY ASSESS me”. Guess what – they sent me to an 80+ year old “general surgeon” (not even specialised in the field of injury). The IME, bless him, trashed Xchanging and strongly supports my own specialist’s prescription / recommendation X.

          Xchanging gets the damning report and decides to IGNORE it (it does not count) and then base their “decision” on a letter sent by my own same specialist surgeon some 8 months prior (at a time where prescription/recommendation X was not necessary as yet).

          HOW ON EARTH DOES THIS WORK?

          This is not a joke

          workcovervictim3 February 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm
          • Yep, like Allianz, they merely extract any word from any past report and somehow make it relevant. Of course, it is only relevant in the delusion mind of the case manager, team leader and technical specialist, who are together working hard to get that team bonus using the blood of the injured worker.

            Do you know of any unscrupulous insurance company employees? Tell your story here.

      • Well, that’s just great. I’ve just been notified by CGU that I have an appt with Wendy Triggs at the beginning of May, because my original IME (who was very supportive) was not available until June.

        So now what do I do 🙁

         

        • May we suggest that you ask your lawyer (in the hope you have one) to immediately ask CGU yo make an appointment with a non-biased independent psychiatrist! To CGU it should not matter in the sense that, like all “workcover insurers” they advertise (brochure/booklets) that their IMEs are truly independent. Please ask your lawyer to be sent to a decent IME, for example Dr [censored] (he is the best IME psychiatrist we know off). Alternatively you may wish to write to CGU that “there appears to be a conflict of interest  and perhaps refer to these articles and http://www.rateanmd‘s website). Best, however is to request a truly independent IME through your lawyer. Please keep us informed how your are going! Good luck.
          Note that WE have personally been SUCCESSFUL at demanding NOT to be seen by this HIRED GUN (through our lawyer) and some of us were sent to Dr [censored]!

          • Nope, no lawyer, as I thought most of itt was over.  I’m working my regular hours in a return to work program.  I think the issue is that I can’t return to my previous workplace, due to a bullying manager.  Can my Dr or Psychologist request a different IME?  Or can I take a witness or support person with me?  Perhaps worth noting that [censored] has no ratings on the website you mentioned.

             

             

    • This hired gun – [censored]

      • Firstly, I congratulate you for posting that information, but some tips to protect you:

        1. When posting that type of information here or on Pastebin (also suggest http://www.pastebay.net) it is _very_ important that you use an anonymising service. The best out there is https://torproject.org

        You can run this from a USB drive and it will leave no trace of what you browsed on your PC. Importantly, it will encrypt your browsing session and send it via other connections located elsewhere in the world. That way even law enforcement can’t see your connection’s IP address.

        2. Even with the use of Tor, when posting such info to this site you would, of course, use a fake email address as you don’t want this to be linked back to you.

        Australian doctors employ the services of the Medical Defence Association (and like insurance companies) they will go to ANY length to protect the reputation of their members (even in the most repugnant medical abuse cases).

        Stay strong, stay anonymous and keep on spreading the word about this corrupt system and those within it!

         

        [unprivatized by admin – too good information and valuable to ALL readers 😉 ]

        • As stated above by Meep Meep – it is very important you follow this advice! Also, as you know the workcover system is extremely litigatory and we (this blog) need to extremely careful HOW we share our most valuable information with each other without risking litigation for defamation or similar “issues” shall we say. Understandably we are in a very difficult situation between what is called free speech and the deep pockets of workcover insurances and even their hired guns. Although as you know most “threats” are nothing but intimidation tactics (also see heretic press’ site), we feel that we do not want to “attract unwanted attention” to our very popular site. What this means is that we are asking you to use the above mentioned anonymous tools such as pastebins + TOR to post anonymously information of a “delicate” nature shall we say, but information which is nonetheless VITAL for fellow and future injured workers. I.e known hired guns (with whom YOU had a bad experience, CMs who have personally bullied or harassed you and so on). This way, we are all protected and no harm is done 😉

          Thank you to the anonymous person who shared the pastebin link(s) – much appreciated.

      • @Loki: we noticed that the rateanmd as removed this doctor from its website – it certainly was there a few weeks ago – shows you to what length perhaps Dr censored is going…

        Yes, you can take a support person along although most psych IME will prefer to interview you alone – just insist that your support person is present as a witness. You doctor may not be able to help you out here (but you can ask) however YOU can ask your insurer for a different IME – just say that for example there is “a conflict of interest” (maybe even say something along the lines that a close friend of you has been examined by this woman – which is true – and therefore you feel it is inappropriate for you to attend same). Insist on a referral to Dr [censored] , IME Psych [censored location]. State in your letter that in any case insurer states all IMEs are independent so there is no reason why they cannot send you to Dr [censored] instead.

        Please also read:

        http://workcovervictimsdiary.com/2011/08/independent-psychiatric-medical-exmaninations-ime-psychiatry-dont-get-fooled/

        http://workcovervictimsdiary.com/2011/10/more-about-workcover-independent-medical-examination-ime/

        Hope this helps.

        Now given that you are already on a RTW you do not have as much to “fear” and “loose” as those injured workers deemed unfit to work and for which the insurer is desperate to find a way out (loophole). For example some very injured people who are medically unfit from a physical perspective may often be send to an IME shrink in the hope of hopes to get them certified fit! Very sick tactic but they have tried it many times. One of us was certified unfit based on loss of an arm and life-threatening complications, the CM emailed she was NOT interested in physical condition and serious deterioration of worker (despite hard evidence from surgeon, MRI etc) and sent worker to Dr [censored] for assessment to RTW and ‘engage in rehab”. Needless to say this woman stated in her report this crippled worker needed to engage in “volunteer work” – again insurer had NOT disclosed physical injury!!!

        workcovervictim April 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm
  9. I know exactly what you mean by being too abused and too stressed to deal with such a crap – I have also experienced a most inappropriate IME psychiatry by a doctor [name censored]- a real bitch, obviously in need to keep her practice afloat by doing IMEs as not a patient was to be seen in the rooms. This doctor has no regards whatsoever for my physical injury, and maybe no understanding of medical terms. I had been certified unfit by my treaters AND an IME ortho surgeon a week or two before this appointment – as I had further major surgical complications and needed urgent further surgery. This bitch however wrote in her report that it was of uttermost importance that I undertake immediate “volunteer work” and then return to work!!!! WTF! You can imagine the shit this caused with my case manager, who started calling me on a weekly basis to remind me that I had t find a volunteer job! She even went as far as writing to my treatres to request they “facilitate” volunteer work – ha! Whilst I was in BED, with such a dodgy spine I could be parlysed anytime with any “bad”movement!

    In the end I also wrote complaint letters to my Case Manager, then I got the run around and was told to write to the doctor (which I did but who did not even reply). I finally wrote to WorkSafe and I never ever heard back from them. Apart from lodging a complaint with the medical board I am not sure what to do and by then I was also too stressed and upset to bloody bother pursuing this crap.

     

  10. thanks for the replies. I’m usually prepared before all ime’s with my own reports and paperwork but while in the waiting room my appointment was switched from Dr Mutton to Dr Baker and I couldn’t do anything about it. Mistake on the insurer’s behalf or on purpose?

    Dr Baker also suggested I could apply for a ‘meter reader’. I argued my points, even forwarding a current ‘meter reading’ job application that was advertised to my case manager but my payments were still terminated and I had to go to conciliation.

    I’d say Dr Baker is on their ‘excellent practitioner’ list and has now setup his cushy retirement fund.

    I emailed many times complaining, eventually after calling a few times my case manager suggested i write a letter. I did this also and eventually got a reply telling me the letter needed to go to WorkSafe not to the insurer. I stopped there, I was just getting the run around. I also had so much going on with conciliation coming up I just gave up.

    This is where they get most of us. The system abuses our incapacity and the fact we’re not well enough and also too stressed already to take more on.

    • Your appointment was with a particular doctor, not with a particular medical practice.

      I would argue that the IME isn’t even valid.

      • dear none,

        argue to who? please excuse my sarcastic humour, my coping strategies seem to switch to a delirium sometimes and i make ‘funnies’.

        who’s going to accept a Worksafe IME isn’t valid?

        sigh.

        • If an IME was not conducted in accordance with the guidelines then by definition it isn’t valid.

          It isn’t valid just because the insurer asserts it is!

          • Valid or not, my payments were suspended and I had to attend conciliation to get them back. I was doomed either way. I reached my 130 week mark. I don’t think there’s any way of getting out of that suspension.

  11. It is also important to try to have medical reports corrected! Your case manager couldn’t care less and was probably delighted with the report – especially the “distribute leaflets-fitness” part. He/she will definitely NOT write a complaint to the IME or to the medical board re his behaviour, on the contrary, he/she will flag this IME as a “great one”!

    It is recommended that you write directly to the IME (upon receipt of a copy of such a report) and to have such matters raised and corrected, if possible. That way YOU have evidence that you do NOT agree with the IME’s “report/assessment”.

    This is one of the reasons why  there is Freedom of Information under the FOI and the ACT, guys, so you can obtain copies of all reports, review them and heave them amended!

    May lawyers also believe it may be of use to book an appointment with your GP/Specialist on the SAME day as an IME assessment, as to properly DOCUMENT your current state/condition. Again, this allows you to keep documented EVIDENCE of your real condition vs. to what some of those hired guns “write” on paper.

    Just keep these tips in mind, folks and protect yourselves as best you can.

  12. This doctor should be reported to the relevant medical board so that his unprofessional conduct can be investigated.

    Also, it appears that he has asked non-medical questions, probably at the behest of the insurer. This should also be a part of any complaint made about this hired gun.

  13. With regards to the most inappropriate opinion of this Dr Baker that you are “fit to distribute leaflets”, many injured workers have been forced into “suitable vocations” by workcover insurance companies, including for example working as  funeral director whilst having zero “people skills” !

    My partner was  told not that long ago that she could work in the building/construction sector – why? Apparently (as a life long health care professional) she has “direct experience” with “building maintenance”… This is NOT a joke.

    Must read:http://workcovervictimsdiary.com/2011/10/voctional-assessment-suitable-jobs-you-could-be-a-funeral-director-scam/