Published: 03 June 2016
Author: Stringer Clark
WorkCover: you’re entitled to consult your own doctor
Time and time again I meet with workers who have been convinced by their employers to use only the company doctor or therapists which visit their workplace such as physiotherapists, masseuses, etc.
If you are feeling supported, getting the treatment you need and recovering from your work place injury then this is ok.
However, unfortunately this "keep it in house practice" often results in workers remaining at work when what they really need is some time off work to rest and recover from their injury properly.
A period off work initially followed by appropriate rehabilitation can result in far better outcomes for both the worker and the employer with a sustained returned to work.
The trap for workers is that without consulting your own GP and health practitioners they have no record of your injury occurring at work which can make claiming compensation down the track more difficult. Particularly if the worker gets to the point where they need to have surgery or the employer has terminated their employment and suddenly the support of the GP is crucial.
We need to spread the word that workers are entitled to seek their own medical advice and treatment rather than feeling they are only able to see the company physicians or risk being out of pocket.
If you have suffered an injury at work you should lodge a Workcover claim form to ensure that your medical expenses and time off work is covered and seek legal advice immediately if your claim is rejected.