A couple of days ago, “Julie”, a severely injured workers posted a heart-wrenching comment on our blog under our article entitled “workcover case manager tells injured workers she is fat“. Julie suffers from severe physical and psychiatric injuries and has been (is being) relentlessly bullied and harassed by Allianz. She was also recently sent to a so called independent medical doctor for an assessment and writes that after she left the rooms of this IME she was extremely distressed. To her horror, “Julie” found out that this doctor is a true biased hired gun…
Injured worker bullied by Allianz and sent to known IME hired gun
Injured worker’s (“Julie”) comment as posted on our blog
Recently I was told about your web site, and I am so grateful for the many articles/stories/procedures, which have left me saying, what is the point. I have never been so isolated, and my heart just breaks with all these stories.
I was Bullied and Harrassed. I currently have severe Psychiatric and Physical injuries.
One of the physical injuries recently had to be assessed by WorkSafe Independent Medical Examiner, I was not told what qualifications this person had, nor was sent a formal letter of WorkSafe requirements, only the name of the doctor, the time and address.
Upon finding that this Doctor was an Occupational Physician, I looked on the web site http://www.occupationalmedicine.com.au. to see what Occupational Physicians actually did and found an interview from the Sunday Age ” Medicine as a career “, part of this interview outlines this Doctor’s opinions and views which is attached. (see below)
This woman [Dr Amanda Sillock] is an IME for WorkSafe and on the Medical Panel.
Injured worker (“Julie”) further contacted us via email: here is her story
Hello team at this wonderful site, that is giving me some strength to continue to get better and understand this unbelievable system.
I looked at the link that I gave you and found that it did not show this article as I had first found it, so I have forwarded to you in confidence.
I have no idea how to set a non traceable web page and I really do not have anything to hide, however, this system has shown that no matter what you provide or tell it is irrelevant.
Thank you for having the courage to expose all of this.
The interview from the Sunday Age ” Medicine as a career”
It’s one of those glamour jobs. But is medicine all it’s cracked up to be? By Louise Merrington and Ben Haywood.
DR AMANDA SILLCOCK
How did you get to where you are now?
I started at Melbourne University in 1969 and graduated in 1974.
I did an intern year at The Alfred and stayed on for a further two years. I thought I’d like to become an orthopedic surgeon. I also considered going into general practice, but eventually found my way into occupational medicine. The focus is on work-related illness and injury. There is also a strong preventative focus.
There wasn’t really any postgraduate training in it when I was a medical student, but I did a six-week pilot course run by the College of General Practitioners and the Occupational Medicine Society and decided this was for me.
My first job in occupational medicine was some part-time work at Ford. I also worked for the Victorian Railways, Mobil Oil Australia and Toyota Australia. Since I left Toyota, I’ve been doing consultancy work. I have visited various companies and I also do quite a lot for WorkCover. I assess people with injuries and their fitness for work.
Recently I’ve joined the WorkCover medical panels. The decision of the medical panels is binding. It’s quite a responsible position because you really are affecting people’s lives.
Has medicine turned out the way you expected it to?
When I first started I don’t think I envisaged that my career would take the path it has, partly because no one had heard of occupational medicine, least of all me. I’m gratified to see that it’s now taught much more in the undergraduate medical courses. I think that there’s a growing recognition of the role of work in illness and vice versa.
What are the down sides of the job?
The down side to any job in medicine is that it can be emotionally draining at times. Death is not such a big part of occupational medicine as it is in an emergency room or trauma surgery, but you are dealing with people who are injured or ill, in various states of misery, and who often don’t get better.
What are the positives?
It’s great when things go well, when you find that you’ve really helped somebody, and particularly when they acknowledge that you’ve helped them. But even if they don’t, just knowing that you’re helping them to get better is rewarding in so many ways.
Do you think it takes a certain type of person to do well in medicine?
Yes, definitely. The longer I’ve been in the game the more I realise that it’s not just the high marks that are important. You might be a genius, but if you can’t communicate then you’re in trouble. Most of the time when doctors run into problems it’s due to failure of communication, not because they’ve done anything drastically wrong.
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.
[Source: The Sunday Age; Sunday March 6, 2005; Louise Merrington and Ben Haywood]
Speak out, yell out
There is no reason to FEAR workcover insurance companies, there is NO need to fear reprisals. Really. Erin Brockovich told us so. She told us to stand up and YELL and KICK BUTT. (Click on the picture for more information about what Erin Brockovich had to say).
Don’t believe us? Hey, go check out this website for example…Did this injured worker get reprisals? Nope! Did aworkcovervictimsdiary.com get “sued” for “defamation”? Nope. It’s nothing but INTIMIDATION for the only reason to SHUT YOU UP. Frankly what can they do to you that they haven’t already done?
How many more injured workers need to endure this kind of behaviour, bullying, harassment, intimidation, ill-treatment and dis-respect, just because they went to work and got INJURED AT work, most often because their employer(s) were negligent? Is it YOUR fault that you were injured? Maimed? Incapacitated? Impaired? In debilitating pain? Is it YOUR fault that you have now not only lost your income, career, hobbies but also your DIGNITY? Do YOU believe it is normal to be treated like an animal or a criminal because you were injured?
Do you know that some injured workers are driven to suicide because the way they are being treated by workcover insurance companies? Do you know that injured workers have been known to DIE from stress related heart attacks because of the way they have been treated? Please, have a look and a good read of this website , and PLEASE stand up and YELL.Share your experience(s) and stories. We say, ENOUGH is ENOUGH!