Your rights regarding Doctor’s Appointments

A large part of the Union’s work is assisting our members with workplace injuries and Workers Compensation claims.

The Union is aware that there have been many recent cases of employers seeking to attend Doctor’s appointments or that workers have been given false or misleading information as to their rights. This is of grave concern to us as it impinges on our members’ rights to privacy, information and autonomy.

 

Stories of concern:

  • Workers being told it was ''Company policy'' for managers to attend their Doctors' appointments.
  • Forcing workers to attend company doctors.
  • Doctors being pressured to change medical certificates and return-to-work plans.
  • Employers seeking regular access to all health information, rather than that related to a current workplace injury. This included using legal means to force workers to reveal medical information and attend medical assessments.
  • Being discouraged from seeing a Doctor or making a Workers Compensation Claim, instead offering/requesting the use of a company physiotherapist. Treatment from the physiotherapist has, in some instances, exacerbated the condition. We have had a member contact us to inform us that after several physio appointments and no improvement it was discovered by her Doctor that she had a broken limb all along!

Sadly, these issues are not just confined to the Retail and Fast Food industries. The ACTU has recorded a rise in the number of workers being given false or misleading information about their rights when ill or injured. I therefore see it timely to remind members of their rights regarding workplace Injuries and Workers Compensation claims.

 

Your rights:

  • The right to choose your own nominated treating Doctor. The SDA recommends you go to your Doctor;
  • The right to see a Doctor. This might seem like a ‘given’ but we are increasingly finding members being encouraged to see a physiotherapist instead;
  • The right to privacy in your Doctor’s consultation i.e. the right to attend alone. If your employer needs to see the Doctor about your return to work place they need to make their own appointment;
  • The right to choose your own rehab provider (contact the SDA to obtain details of our recommended provider); and
  • The right to choose your own treatment providers.

 

Your obligations:

  • Keep in touch with your employer and provide necessary documentation to your employer such as Work Capacity Certificates in a timely manner (YOU MUST KEEP COPIES OF EVERYTHING FOR YOUR RECORDS);
  • Actively participate and cooperate in your assessment for the determination of your capacity for work;
  • Actively participate and cooperate in workplace and vocational rehabilitation; and
  • To participate in developing your return to work plan.

 

If you are unsure of your rights or require assistance regarding a workplace injury or Workers Compensation claim, please do not hesitate to contact us on 4961 4694 or by email secretary@sdan.org.au

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