Injured workers should not be asked to bear the costs of medical treatment in an attempt to resolve financial issues within NSW’s workers compensation scheme, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).
“It is not the responsibility of injured workers to reign in the costs of the workers compensation scheme,” said Mr Andrew Stone SC, barrister and NSW State President, ALA.
“Injured workers are already being asked to support themselves and their families on minimum wages. There is no spare money to pay for their own treatment. That is what the insurance is meant to cover.
“If a doctor recommends treatment, and iCare with all its expertise, approve that treatment, why should an injured worker pay part of the costs? If the treatment has been approved that means the treatment is necessary.
“If iCare believe doctors are performing unnecessary and overpriced surgery then iCare should be able to name the doctors and the procedures. The problem shouldn’t be offloaded onto injured workers.
“The government must be very cautious about how they try to control medical costs within the scheme.
“We also would not want to see a situation where access to treatment is reduced because doctors are not willing to do workers compensation work – especially in remote areas where there might only be one or two doctors available.”