Independent medical examination – most reported problems


Sometimes the way the questions are worded to an IME demonstrates the bias of the workcover insurer, writes an injured worker. Also certain doctors only do IMEs / or it may seem like it and those doctors seem to always have the same opinion. Injured workers talk to each other and they get an idea of whether a doctor is an “insurance” doctor or a proper clinician. In my opinion insurers who only use a narrow set of doctors for IMEs are setting themselves up for a battle…

The injured worker furthermore writes that using a doctor who is not on the routine list of IME doctors could help the insurer gain another viewpoint. Or better yet, ask the treating doctor for some ideas, if s/he gets some input into the IME process the workcover insurance companies may be less argumentative with the results.

Sometimes the insurer, because they are not doctors, choose the wrong specialty to perform the IME. For example a patient with a  brain injury should see a neurosurgeon, not a general surgeon.

I know that some doctors seem to disagree with what ever the insurer wants but I believe they are in the minority. Some of the ethical, good, impartial IME’s knowledge appear not to be respected.

Independent medical examination – most reported problems

Below is a list of the most frequently reported issues and problems with independent medical examinations and IME doctors.

Very old IME doctors

rude-hostile-imeQuite a few injured workers have reported being sent to old and very old IME doctors for an independent medical examination. Some of those very old IME doctors have been practicing medicine (incl. Orthopaedic surgery and Psychiatry) since 1955, which makes them around or over 80 years old, assuming they got their medical degrees at the tender age of 24-25 years.

How can we  expect retired and, worse, octogenarian IME doctors who make about 100% of their living from workcover insurance paid independent medical examinations to write much, or anything really, that is contrary to what their paying client (the workcover insurer) is going to be happy with?

These are either retired or way-way past retired and or non-practitioning doctors, who hold themselves out as being experts where they have no expertise. For example the octogenarian orthopedic “surgeon” who has not done surgery since the mid-1980s, and is (often) unaware of new diagnostic procedures or modern surgical methods, yet holds himself out as an expert.

A couple of injured workers’ recent, shared experiences stand out.

One injured worker had complex shoulder surgery which involved the transplanting/grafting of the injured worker’s hamstring tendon(s) into his shoulder. Unfortunately the injured worker suffered from a permanent nerve lesion in his lower leg, damaged during the harvesting of the hamstring grafts (not an uncommon complication). The octogenarian IME (a ‘general surgeon’) did not understand the relationship between the leg (nerve) injury and the injured worker’s work-related shoulder injury, and repeatedly stated to the injured worker “… I simply do not understand the relationship between your injured leg and your shoulder ” … and “what is the relationship between your claimed (for) leg injury and your shoulder injury” Duh?

Another injured worker recently described that a very old IME psychiatrist still  likes to uses electric shock treatment and still considers a lobotomy a valid treatment resource.

And another injured worker recently recalled an IME Psychiatrist repeatedly “falling asleep” during the examination.

Not only are the medico-legal reports generated by these octogenarian or non-practicing doctors biased towards the insurer (they are obviously enjoying the ‘perks’ of handsome $ rewards, perhaps for their monthly ship cruises?), but the content of these reports is, in many cases, actually truly frightening.

Cursory examinations

While most IME examinations reportedly last between 15 and 30 minutes, some injured workers have described their IME to be extremely brief. One injured worker, for example, said the IME doctor looked him over but never undertook a physical examination (as with his hands and/or instruments). The IME doctor simply reviewed the diagnosis of the injured worker’s treating doctor and told the injured worker he was “fine.” The entire process lasted 5 minutes.

Contempt for injured workers

Quite a few injured and ill workers have reported frank hostility from some IME doctors — and we’re talking about hostility  and rudeness that simply appeared to be without any provocation. Many injured workers portray a system in which many presumes they are frauds until they are proven innocent.

One injured worker described hearing an other injured worker who was being seen by this IME doctor being badgered, with the doctor  yelling “You’re not really sick!”; “You’re faking this!”. Other examples of similar contempt include the story of “B”, a 40 something tradesman who suffered 2 herniated discs (in his back) and arrived for his IME using a cane and having difficulty walking or sitting for long periods (more than 10 minutes). The first thing this injured worker was told by the IME is “You’re fine. When are you going back to work?”

Another injured worker with severe bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome (RSI) reported that when she first arrived for her IME, the IME doctor “seemed to have some sort of attitude” and, when she described her pain, he “just waved his hand, like, ‘So What?'”

Unavailable IME reports

Most injured workers we interact with have never seen their IME reports. As a result, those injured workers and their treating doctors have no opportunity to even review the insurance  handpicked IME examinations, even those evaluation of the degree of permanent impairment.

Reports generated by the IME doctor become the basis for decisions made by the workcover insurer — decisions which in many cases are unilaterally implemented without consultation with the injured worker, let alone their treating doctors.

No witnesses allowed

Generally speaking, injured workers have no right to bring anyone  to the IME exam (unless prior approval has been given by the IME doctor and the insurer), which effectively precludes witnesses to the IME. Psychiatric IMEs never allow a witness during the examination. Not even spouses are allowed to attend.

Several workers reported making an attempt to either tape-record their examinations or, at the very least, to bring a witness (i.e. support person) to observe the IME examination.

In many of these case hostile confrontation occurred. In one case, an injured worker brought her husband to the examination despite the protest of the IME doctor. In what appeared to the injured worker to be a retaliative action on the part of that IME, she was told by the IME doctor that, despite severe symptoms  and clear diagnostic tests that confirmed the existence of a disabling injury, she was able to return to work “immediately” and, what’s worse, that she had no basis for a workers’ compensation claim!

Doctored IME reports

Several workers have (even recently) described and documented in great detail the altering of an IME doctor’s original IME report and/or notes/forms.

In one case, an injured worker experienced the altering of reports twice, by 2 different IME doctors, first in 2013 and again in 2014. In the latter instance, the injured worker, who had been struck by a 11o kg floor display while at work, was continuing to describe back pain so severe that the doctor’s IME report stated he recounted “difficulty doing simple activities such as washing dishes and washing his hair.”

The IME’s report, dated (date) 2013, concluded that “the prognosis for improvement is unfortunately extremely limited at this time.” Yet, in a letter  to the insurance company dated 2014, the same IME doctor wrote (based on his initial 2013 report) “it is very difficult to assess  the various factors present in Mr. X inability to return to the work”; and , hold on, that “the worker symptoms no longer appeared to be physical, but psychological” !

Another injured worker who has such a severe spinal injury that she is wheelchair bound reported that after she was examined by an IME doctor, two versions of the report about her condition surfaced under FOI. One was used to assert that her impairment was only a “moderate” — not a “severe”, enabling her to work part-time. The other report, signed by the same IME doctor, declared her to be totally disabled.

When this injured worker brought the discrepancy to the attention of her insurance company, the insurance company  denied knowing about the “total disability” version of the IME report. When the injured worker (and her lawyer) pressured the insurance company for an explanation, they provided a letterhead document, signed by the IME doctor, stating that he altered the last page of the original report “after reviewing his notes and listening to his own dictation”. (He did not, however, alter the first 4 pages of the report, which document in great detail the injured worker’s total disability. ) The precise reasons for his changed assessment remain unclear to date.

No due process

Many injured workers feel there is lack of due process rights in relation to IMEs. Inured worker often report that – frequently – one-sided reports generated by IME doctors became the basis for decisions by the insurance company. These decisions unilaterally deny, cut off, decrease or delay weekly payments benefits and medical treatment— without consultation or even prior notice. Although IME reports and assessments can be appealed, some injured workers are intimidated by the prospect and accept decisions that are clearly, very inconsistent with the findings of their own treating doctor.

Unreasonable distance to travel to see the handpicked IME

In addition, many injured workers have repeatedly reported having to travel more than an hour for an independent medical examination, requiring either extensive use of public transport or very long drives. For an injured worker who is injured or sick, requirements to travel such distances become yet another barrier to pursuing their legitimate workcover claim.

A couple of recently shared IME experiences

IME-quackL’s Independent Medical Examination experience

When I first walked in the IME doctor’s office, he seemed to have some sort of attitude. I told him I was in pain, and he waved his hand, like So what?

He didn’t want to hear about my neck pain/injury. He said if I had the tendon in my wrist operated on that would take care of the pain in my neck. Then he examined me. He told me to put my head up and down. I told him I couldn’t, so he pushed my head for me. He did the same thing with my wrist and arms. I kept saying I was in pain, and he kept waving it away. He wrote down the angles of where he was pushing me on the chart, not what I was able to do on my own….

IME-quackL2’s Independent Medical Examination experience

I had my leg hamstrings transplanted (grafted) in my shoulder as part of a reconstruction. Unfortunately I suffered permanent damage to my leg nerve during the harvesting of the hamstring(s). The insurance sent me to a very old IME orthopaedic surgeon to assess my leg injury. This 80 something year old IME kept telling me he “did not understand the relationship with my work shoulder injury and my subsequent leg injury. He kept saying he “never heard of such thing” (referring to a novel and uncommon procedure of using hamstring grafts in seriously damaged shoulders).

IME-quackS’s Independent Medical Examination experience

I asked the IME doctor if he’d read that I’d had a cortisone with anesthetic injection that very day, information that was on the prescription and my treating specialist doctor’s report I’d given him when I walked in the door. No, he had not. He also said that was not good, it would hinder/interfere his examination. I should have told him to stop right there …It didn’t. And, as he pulled this, pushed that, had me grip or move my wrist and hand, 2 minutes later he looked me straight in the eye and said “You don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome.” He never asked me about work. He wasn’t interested. He also wouldn’t listen to me when I told him I’d had an EMG, a scientific test which proved carpal tunnel syndrome….

M’s Independent Medical Examination experienceIME-quack

…The doctor was hard of hearing, so I had to repeat myself a lot. I just don’t understand how he could perform surgery. He would ask me questions, but before I would answer, he would ask me the next question. I told him that every day I go to work, I hurt my shoulder more. The IME  looked at my records and said: “They don’t have a real diagnosis here.” (despite MRI scans showing torn labrum and 2 rotator cuff tears). Then he manipulated my arms, and told me that I definitely had full range of motion and that there was nothing wrong with me…

IME-quackB’s Independent Medical Examination experience

…The [IME] doctor held my wrist and forearm in his hands. I stood up and he swung my arm back in a cavalier way, he was very rough with me, pushing me and making me wince from pain. Then he looked at my x-rays, and said, “you don’t have the thing you say you have.” I also heard the injured worker before me being badgered by the IME, yelling “You ‘re not really sick!”; “You’re faking this”.  The IME doctor was very loud and obnoxious. I walked in and he was speaking into a Dictaphone and looked up at me, and said, “Bring that chair over there with you.” And I turned to get the chair and stopped and realised it was a test/trick. I couldn’t lift it anyway, so I dragged and kicked the chair with my leg. During the exam [ which lasted less than 10 minutes] the IME doctor would ask me a question and interrupt me, and then tell me to say it again into the Dictaphone — it seemed deliberate… Even though I already had my workcover case fully established, he said “he didn’t see anything wrong with me”.

Some thoughts about the IME process

Independent Medical Examination  appear to be particularly harmful for injured/ill workers. We believe that the IME system is virtually unregulated and that it is often having damaging effects on the ability of injured/ill workers to receive fair and impartial treatment.

It is a system severely skewed in favour of insurance companies and while we have come up with a few ideas to improve the IME process in our earlier article titled “Improving the IME process – some thoughts“, we believe the workcover laws should be amended to reflect the above common issues and concerns.

  • Call IMEs “Insurance Company Examinations”
    IMEs are conducted by and for insurance companies and in no way function as truly independent examinations. They are often extremely biased but are given equal or greater weight than the comprehensive evaluation and examinations conducted by an injured worker’s treating doctor and specialist.
    The workcover law should be amended to reflect the true nature of these so-called IME examinations.
  • Exams should be held in locations that are not unreasonably far from the injured worker’s home address. All travel should be reimbursed.
  • Each injured worker should automatically be supplied with a written copy of the  IME report at same time it is sent to the insurance company; Each injured worker should automatically have the right to respond to the IME report — either themselves or through their treating doctor or even their lawyers — before a decision is made regarding their degree of impairment, their weekly payments benefits or payment of their medical expenses. The insurance carrier should not be allowed to unilaterally base decisions on IME reports without injured workers being given a chance to respond, or without consultation.
  • When attending IMEs, injured workers should always be allowed to be accompanied by a witness/ support person of their choosing and should be free to audio or video-tape the examination.
  • To avoid potential conflict of interest, IME doctors should be precluded from working for preferred workcover insurers/authorities and should also be providing primary, up-to-date care to patients. A cap should be set on the age of the IME!!!
  • IME doctors who engage in the altering of IME reports should be subject to disciplinary action (ie. for fraud)
  • Any other thoughts or suggestions?


People go to doctors, trusting them for help. You go there expecting them to take care of you. You should not expect  anything unethical or unprofessional.


[Post dictated by WCV and manually inserted on WCV’s behalf]

25 Responses to “Independent medical examination – most reported problems”

  1. All IME reports are available through Freedom of Information. The Workcover insurer always sends me and my doctors a copy of the report when requested. While I have extensive issue with WC… this hasn’t been one off them. I regularly read the reports, make correction to what I actually said and email the comments and a copy of the report back to the insurer. Several times when IMEs have said there’s conflicting reports I could show them the corrections

  2. Congrats Harry! Stick it right up ’em!

  3. I think some people need to carefully read or re-read the section on Medical Panels, of which the info was provided by a lawyer.
    Also generally speaking it’s up to the Panel to decide to suspend it’s opinion, usually in the case of ‘injury not stable’.

    • @WCV3, great info as always, thank you 🙂

    • Hi all
      Been a while since i have been here.
      Have been reading the comments re medical panel
      Went to my medical panel hearing a few weeks ago and have there written report ALL IN MY FAVOR!!!!!!!!!!!! FUCK YOU QBE.
      I was able to give them further documents on the day to support my case eg SIC letter from my solicitor current medical cert and a letter from social security saying i was was granted the DSP in one day after JSA with them.
      had the head manager from wsa at conciliation great guy.
      And found the five panel members to be very good and independent and they also disagreed with the IME.

  4. @Sarah Jane, ignore @Marina she is talking a load of bollocks, and you can’t get the medical panel suspended.

    I know its not helpful to say after the fact but it would have helped you to get legal advice before going to the medical panel as you seem to have misunderstood the whole medical panel process and purpose. I’ve been that many time now i know the whole process back to front now. it wont be for the medical panel to provide legal advice or tell you what you need to do, you would be expected to get your own advice on their legal requirements.
    The medical panel website clearly gives directions that each party must exchange documents with the other party otherwise they are disregarded, and the rules about the referral of docs, what docs can be referred to the panel are really strict, and the parties usually have to be in agreement to what docs are referred to the panel. Its not for the medical panel to provide people with legal advice on the process or to do things the parties are required to have done themselves. That said, by the sounds of it most of the information your provided to the convenor isn’t relevant anyway and wouldnt be distributed to the panel members anyway. Things such as your task analysis report and complaints about the IME are all completely irrelevant. The only information you can provide to the medical panel is stuff that directly relates to the specific medical question referred to the panel.
    Remember the medical panel is not there to rule on (reject or endorse) an IMEs opinion, they are their to arrive at their own opinion through their own examinations. Its not relevant what a particular IME thinks or not, it has no bearing on the medical panels own decision.

    • @Terry, I think I know whether or not the Medical Panel can suspend the matter – I have the documents sitting right in front of me and they did suspend the matter. You’re not the only one to have been to the Medical Panel. My matter was suspended for almost a year so I could get more medical reports and deal with my injury. You’re also wrong about them not taking into consideration other medical opinions provided, if it is NOT going to be examined then they wouldn’t provide it in the first place. They actually have to sign off that they have read and considered the information provided which could be medical reports from your own treatment providers AND/or IME’s or other material i.e in the schedule of attachments states {QUOTE}: “I refer to the Medical Panel convened in this matter of which I am a member and acknowledge receipt of the medical and other material listed in this schedule and confirm that the Panel took this information into consideration in forming the opinion”.{END QUOTE} I do agree however that they do draw they own conclusions from what is presented to them and what they find upon examination.

      • @Marina hmm it doesnt appear you do know what you are talking about!!!

        “@Sarah Jane, you NEED to get the matter suspended immediately”

        “@Terry, I think I know whether or not the Medical Panel can suspend the matter”

        @Marina notice the difference in what you’ve said!!! First you say Sarah Jane CAN HERSELF get the matter suspended. Then it changes to the Medical Panel, at THEIR OWN instigation, can suspend the matter.

        Not the same thing.

        Also if you read properly what @Terry wrote he didnt say that they dont read the opinions given by IMEs or your own doctors, but rather they are not required to make a determination of the rights or wrongs of those other opinions and so don’t rely on them as they are there to form their own opinions, regardless of what someone else’s opinion may be. It sounds like what Terry was saying was to reassure Sarah Jane that regardless of what some dumb assed IME may have said, not to worry about it as the medical panel will come to their own conclusions.

  5. Off topic, I heard on the radio today people talking about bad gifts they had sent & received. One caller stated that a boss that everyone hated once got sent a parcel of shit. U got it, nice sloppy poop. I could not help but think of all you victims out there and the poop-worthy Case Managers, IMES’s and the like who certainly deserve a “crappy” present coming into the season of giving! Hope it gives someone a smile, if anyone gets any other idea’s just remember DNA evidence and fingerprints can be traced so annonymity is best delivered from a 3rd party…….happy gift sending season to all 😀

  6. @Sarah Jane, you NEED to get the matter suspended immediately BEFORE they have a chance to issue a decision. Once the decision is made then you will NOT have a hope. If it’s a “processing error” I think u can challenge it but not their medical opinion. Do u have all copies of everything from the Convenor & Concilliation bc when we went thru it, all parties got a chance to submit info and signed off on it when it was done. DO an FOI on the Medical Panel, ACCS and VWA asap! If u send emails mark them urgent and set it to send u a “read receipt”, if u don’t get one then keep sending emails or faxes until someone acknowledges it in writing, keep a diary and record all telephone calls. For any help, shoot us an email at These pricks will get what’s coming to them sooner or later. Let ur anger drive u fwd. Don’t let this get u down. Also remember to block your number display when u call then bc they record that as well. There are more ways than 1, to skin a “rat”!

  7. Well, I attended the Medical Panel folks and honestly I’m ready to scream. NONE OF THE INFORMATION I had sent to the Convenor of Medical Panels had been distributed to the Panel. Not the most recent MRI Report, not the detailed colour-coded Task Analysis I had prepared (which took me weeks) and had copied in triplicate (for each Panel member) to counter the IME’s absurd conclusions that I could manage my daily life and a return to full-time work with ease, not the referral for treatment my specialist has recommended. Not even the complaint I had made about the IME which explained precisely and in detail his errors in reporting the facts and lack of logic in his conclusions. They had the IME’s report. And the information that was used at Conciliation. But when it came to the additional information I had given – NOTHING! I have already sent a “please explain” email to the Convenor of the Medical Panels. I am determined that I will NOT be dis-empowered any further. I will NOT let this be done to me. I have a right to fully-participate in the process. I am just SO ANGRY! The head of the Panel trotted out a series of excuses: it may have been irrelevant; there may not have been enough time; it may still get to us, it may not have been accepted if it has not been seen by the other parties (the letter of request for further information from the Convenor of Medical Panels, did NOT inform me I was expected to send copies of all information to other parties at the same time I sent it to him. Had he done so, I would have freely distributed it to other parties. And I have no problem with him sending it to other parties.) etc., etc. I sent information by both snail mail and email to the Convenor of Medical Panels. I had to wait (after having arrived 1/2 an hour early) about 30 minutes past the scheduled Panel start time and the office staff seemed to have little to do. There is NO EXC– USE for them not distributing this information as I requested. Furthermore, on top of everything else, I am told that I still cannot get the medical treatment I need because that was not the subject of the Medical Panel today. I will have to request the treatment from the insurer (if and when the Panel makes its decision re. physiotherapy) and go back through the whole process of Conciliation and Medical Panel to get the treatment when the insurer delays, obfuscates or outright refuses my request. This is THE PITS!

    • @Sarah Jane
      You should have been contacted and asked if you wanted to be sent copies of any report the panel had been provided.
      Your information SHOULD HAVE been included, especially further Dr’s reports. Any information they receive does have to be sent to the other party, regardless of if its you or the insurer.
      I wasn’t told about the panel not being asked about just what was being accepted, I was under the impression that all claimed injuries were being assessed, until I saw the report… The Panel did make mention of the other areas, as I had made sure I mentioned them, but they were unable to report as the question wasn’t asked about them.
      None of us are fools, but its how we are treated. Remain level headed and be firm in any requests for treatment, press home the reason you need the treatment, and how it helps you to remain sane.
      I’m about to start on a Pain Management course outside of workcover. I just couldn’t be bothered jumping more hoops to get this funded, I needed ongoing help from 3 years ago, not to be starting in another 3 years…
      How can they justify cutting treatment, spending heaps on medical reports, and panels when that money could be spent on much needed treatment. I guess I still get my medication for now… Being on Sickness Benefit means I couldn’t afford the pills otherwise…

    • No Surprise’s There Sara Jane , The System Is So One Sided , It Really Is An Up Hill Battle For Any Injured Worker !!! All This Crap
      You Are Going Through Should Make You Go Harder !!!


  8. Just to update you all. I have lodged a complaint re. the IME which I sent to the IME Manager, as per the contact details given in a link from this site. I sent my Task analysis, latest MRI results and also a copy of my Complaint re. the IME (he already has preceding medical information as I it was used at Conciliation) to the Convenor of the Medical Panel. I figured that as long as the only opposing evidence before the Medical Panel is the IME’s report, I was well within my rights to express in writing what a farce that IME Examination and final report was. And yes, the IME is on your list. His name is bolded there. In appearance, he looked to be an octagenarian and I have also been told that he does not have any practice other than as acting as an IME. He certainly does not currently perform surgery as a “General Surgeon” (the insurer’s representative at Conciliation kept referring to him as an “orthopedic surgeon” which he is NOT.) I mentioned all this in my Letter of Complaint, which I actually redrafted after I had mailed the first copy when I realized I had omitted to mention 2 of the most salient points I had intended to make. It will be interesting to see if there is any response. I am also considering complaining to the AMA as well. I was wondering if I should use the same letter, or perhaps redraft it in even more formal terms? Anyway, I will think about this AFTER the Medical Panel scheduled for next week.

  9. Sara Jane,i read your comment and I feel so sorry for you.But these IME so called doctors are not to be trusted,they get big $$$$$$ for doing these reports and they are a big part of their income,the o more they write in favour of the insurance companies the more work they will get.So when you think about it they need us more than what we need them,and that stinks as does the whole system.I pray for the day a royal commission is done on this HELL of a system.So please make your complaint and good luck to you with everything,we all need to stick together

    • @Sarah Jane, I really think you should seek WorkCover Assist’s support, many of their (6) reps are really very good and will truly help in anyway. Our favourite is Peter C. They will also help you with gathering the necessary reports. Just in case you didn’t know, your insurer will pay for any report you may want from any (or all) of your treating doctors, specialists etc. Just ask all your treaters to write a report (explain reason) and tell them to bill the insurer.
      Also make a formal complaint to WorkCover VIC about the IME and cc your insurer as well. See our article about making a complaint about an IME in VIC. And you can get a few sample letters here.
      I hope you rated this IME on our IME list (if s/he is not on it or has no rating option, let us know).
      Hang in there!

      • @WCV3 It has recently become apparent that WorkCover Assist reports to the VWA. So any and all info supplied to them can be accessed by the VWA and the Insurer (altho they might protest) ultimately it could be done. Be careful what info u supply in cases where u may end up in Court bc all it does is let the Insurer/VWA see your legal case and arguments prior to Court so they can prepare, manipulate, fabricate and lie there way around it. The ACCS CEO reports to Dept Treasury & Finance as does the VWA CEO, so in that respect they are somewhat independent of the VWA, but have clearly stated that nothing put forward in Conciliation is “confidential”. It’s hard to see why WorkCover Assist can’t be fully independent as well. Suppose it defeats the purpose for the VWA.

        Just a note of caution for all………

        • @Marina, what are you talking about????
          Of course a copy of everything you provide to ACCS is given to workcover, as is everything workcover provides to ACCS a copy is given to you. That’s what happens at conciliation.

          • @Marina/Sybil – WorkCover Assist is indeed PART of the VWA, paid by the VWA. However, when you get to know a Workcover Assist person, they will tell you that ‘yeah, ironically they work for the VWA’! But trust us, some of those WorkCover Assist reps are fantastic, incl. Peter C. He is also always used (or the preferred guy) by our lawyers. And, of course, as Injured says, nothing is really private in any dealings with a workcover claim.

            • @WCV3. I haven’t had Peter so next time I’ll ask. I have someone I trust that I’ve known for a long time however, just pointing out that the system that is supposed to “protect” us is basically screwing us over in every instance. I trust WC Assist but they cannot override the VWA if the VWA want to push the iissue. The ACCS is at least is in a better position to be independent. I don’t know why WC Assist aren’t under their umbrella???

          • @Injured, obviously I must have been around longer than you bc when it first started, everything was “confidential” and you could provide things to only WorkCover Assist and/or the Conciliator and state that it is not to be shared with the Agent/VWA/employer. Obviously I trusted what I was told and was niave to trust the system. Some other people may be in the same boat, hence my warning.

            • @Marina/Sybil, @Injured, I was told at my last conciliation I had to attend in 2013, that what was said in that room stayed in that room…
              On the other hand, if you hand anything to an IME they have to provide that to the insurer.

  10. I made the very big mistake of trusting the IME I was sent to. I tried to be pleasant, polite and even friendly. He was rude, dismissive, arrogant and as I discovered later when I read his report, outright dishonest. When I tried to explain I was in pain and also my symptoms he ignored me. When I began to answer his questions he would interrupt me with another question or tell me what I was saying was irrelevant. The first time I saw his report was when I was sent it prior to Conciliation. I was horrified by what he wrote in his report. In one instance he had attributed to me what he himself had said to me. In other instances he had quoted what I had started to explain before he had interrupted me saying he was not interested or it was not relevant, and frequently it was NOT what I had said at all. He either had not heard me properly, misunderstood or deliberately misconstrued what I had said. Moreover his physical examination really hurt me and I clearly said so. In addition, he did not examine the main physical difficulty I have – merely noted one difficulty I have in dressing as if it was a joke and inconsequential. Yet his report stated that I had no significant pain, since I had done 4 days of casual work in 7 months (on the insistence of Centrelink who refused to pay me Newstart if I did not accept offers of work – because even though my Workcover Claim had been accepted months before, I had not been paid any weekly entitlements – and still have not even though my rights to those weekly entitlements were terminated months ago due to the IME’s report [I call them my “Clayton’s Weekly Entitlements” and I am finally – I think – going to be paid them almost 12 months after my workplace injury occurred, but only up to the time the insurer terminated the entitlement]). The IME claimed I was fully recovered and “as (I) was now working” (I clearly told him I’d only worked 4 days in 7 months) I could obviously work full time. (Shoddy logic isn’t it?) Interestingly, Centrelink suspended me from having to seek work due to ongoing issues caused by my injury at almost the same time that the insurer terminated my Clayton’s weekly entitlements and medical & like expenses on the basis of the IME’ report. This IME’s report has forced me to take two complaints to Conciliation and I am now to go before a Medical Panel. A recent MRI has proved I have the injury that my own doctor and specialists have said exists. I am no longer able to afford physio, nor the treatment recommended by my specialist. And now the insurer is trying to suggest that it is a pre-existing injury/injuries (they have concluded there is more than one – which is beyond what even the IME suggested in his report). More than anything else I am annoyed that the IME trivialized the effects of my injury on my daily life. I have spent the last few weeks tabulating an analysis of the tasks I perform in my daily life (including my attempts to work) according to the level of pain and ease in which I now complete them. There are many that I simply cannot perform any longer. I intend to mail 3 copies of this document to the convenor of the Medical Panel to distribute to the 3 medical experts who will be assessing me. I read on a post on this site that it is legitimate for me to do this.I hope to be able to read excerpts to the panel members to counter what the IMR has said in his report, the gist of which is that my injury was not to my dominant arm, therefore I don’t need to have a functioning non-dominant arm. I really take exception to the implication that I am either a liar or a malingerer. After I have appeared before the Medical Panel, I intend to make a formal complaint about the IME (frankly I can only think and do one thing at a time due to pain-derived lack of sleep and painkillers).

    • @Sarah Jane. I would suggest you make a complaint urgently NOW about the IME BEFORE the Medical Panel. Make sure you get ALL your documents that you require the Medical Panel to exaime to the Convenor, there should have been a draft sent to you outlining questions and issues in dispute as well as a Schedule of Attachmetnts. You need to get reports from other Specialiasts as well as your treating practitioners to state your injuries and their relationship to your work and them not being pre-existing. THIS IS URGENT if you have not already done this. You have the right to suspend the date of the Medical Panel Examination if you haven’t had time to get this done or are not well enough etc. Speak to WorkCover Assist and/or the ACCS. I would also take along a support person/witness to the Medical Panel. They will only assess you based on the info in the Schedule of Attachments and on what they gain from their examinations. This is not just a Medical exam it’s fraught with legal issues about the process. For us injured workers it’s a minefield bc we are untrained and uninformed on the technical (medical) legalities. This decision is binding on all parties and cannot be overturned so make sure you are fully prepared. Have a good diary of your abilities, maybe some video and/or notes on what you can and can’t do as well as info on what your “pre-injury” abilities and lifestyles were. Make sure the complaint about the IME covers all of the issues and get in in asap and perhaps wait until the IME investigation occurs if u think that will help your Medical Panel examination. You should not only report the IME to the VWA (who defend these idiots legally) but also to the Medical Board so it’s on the IME’s record. I complained about a corrupt one who colluded with the Insurer and I had everything documented and the IME just resigned from doing work for the VWA so they said they couldn’t investigate him. What a croc of shit! Do NOT trust the VWA they are the enemy. They are the ones who will be defending your employer and the Insurer in a Court at the end of the day. They are the ones who make the most money out of the system. BEWARE!