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Insurer FAQs

What are medical assessment tribunals?

Medical assessment tribunals are run by the Workers' Compensation Regulator's Tribunal Secretariat and involves an independent panel of doctors who make decisions about a worker's work-related injury.

The decisions could be about a worker's ability to work, any degree of permanent impairment and any disfigurement as a result of their injury.

Who's on the medical assessment tribunal panel?

Medical assessment tribunals are with a panel of three or five specialist doctors.

The doctors are independent to the insurer and every effort is made to ensure a worker won't see a doctor who has treated them previously.

FAQs about nurse practitioners for Insurers

Can a certificate from a nurse practitioner be accepted by the insurer as return to work for an injured worker?

Yes, in s136 (3) of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act) it states that the worker must notify the insurer of their return to work. This notice may be from a doctor's certificate. There are other ways that workers may notify the insurer of return to work and these include: via telephone, employer notification, written letter/email or as notified on the nurse practitioner certificate.

Regarding reinstatement of an injured worker (s232D), can a nurse practitioner certificate be used instead of a doctor's certificate?

No, the injured worker must provide a certificate from a registered medical practitioner.

For damages claims in s275 of the Act (and s111(d) of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014 (the Regulation)) it doesn't mention workers providing authority regarding nurse practitioner information – what happens if the worker has seen a nurse practitioner?

In s275(7)(c) any documents relevant to the claim from a nurse practitioner would be included in the description of a 'provider of treatment or rehabilitation services'. Nurse Practitioners are considered providers of treatment in this section of the Act. (This is also the case in s111(d)(e) of the Regulation)

In s89 of the Regulation, a Nurse Practitioner isn't listed as an option for treatment arranged by an employer. What would happen if the worker sees a Nurse Practitioner in this situation?

The Regulation states that if the employer arranges treatment (with WorkCover's consent) it may be with a doctor, hospital or institution. Nurse practitioners would work for either a doctor, hospital or institution and therefore any treatment they provided is acceptable under the Regulation.

If the worker needs a rehabilitation and return to work plan can this be developed by a Nurse Practitioner?

No, the Nurse practitioner workers' compensation certificate does not include information for developing suitable duties plans. If a worker needs a plan developed they need to see a doctor (as detailed in s104 of the Regulation).

Last updated
29 September 2017

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Workers who get back to safe work as soon as possible recover more quickly than those who wait until they are fully recovered.

Read more...

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