Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 3 Hansard (30 March) . . Page.. 985..
(1) What arrangements are prescribed under which public servants who are injured in the workplace are required to get medical advice;
(2) Are public servants who are injured in the workplace required to get a second opinion from another doctor in relation to their injury; if so, what is the reason for getting a second opinion and is it (a) in relation to the diagnosis of the injury, (b) in relation to the treatment required, (c) in relation to any program of rehabilitation or (d) for any other reason; if so, please explain the reason;
(3) Is the second opinion to be sought from a doctor located outside the ACT; if so, what is the reason for this requirement;
(4) How many public servants, who have been injured at work, have travelled outside the ACT to receive medical advice with respect to that injury in each year since 1994-95;
(5) How did public servants who have been injured at work and who obtained advice from a doctor located outside the ACT travel to visit that doctor;
(6) What was the cost of this travel and any associated expenses for each public servant who has travelled outside the ACT to obtain medical advice;
(7) Who pays the costs incurred for this travel.
Mr Stanhope: The answer to the member's question is as follows:
(1) Comcare, a federal government authority, provides workers' compensation coverage for the Territory's public servants. It is a requirement of the Commonwealth's Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act that a claim for injury from an injured worker must be accompanied by a medical certificate from a legally qualified medical practitioner. In order to determine liability in respect of a claim for workers' compensation, I am advised that Comcare will, on occasion, seek a second opinion with regard to medical evidence submitted by the injured worker.
(2) Where a second opinion is sought by Comcare, I am advised that this would generally be in respect of specialist medical opinion. The medical provider may also be asked to comment on issues associated with treatment and / or rehabilitation.
(3) Because of the limited number of specialists available in certain fields in the ACT, I am advised that Comcare may on occasion seek the advice of medical providers outside the ACT. More commonly, I am advised, the opinion of another medical provider within the ACT would be sought.
(4) Comcare have advised that calculation of the number of times public servants have been asked to travel outside of the ACT for a medical appointment would involve case by case examination of many thousands of claims.
(5) Comcare have advised that the method of travel used to attend such appointments varies and is determined in consultation with the injured worker.
(6) Comcare have advised that calculation of the overall cost of such travel would involve case by case examination of many thousands of claims.
(7) In cases where the injured worker is required to travel outside of the ACT for a medical appointment, the cost of travelling to and from such a provider is met by Comcare.