Published: 27 September 2017
Can an insurer send their own medical professional to join injured worker at a doctor’s appointment?
My workcover insurer wants an occupational rehabilitation consultant to come with me to my doctors’ appointments. Can my doctor or i refuse to allow them?
You can in some cases. Whether or not your doctor can refuse to allow them is not something that you need to be concerned about. Your above obligations require you to liaise with the occupational rehabilitation consultant to plan your return to work. Usually, this is most conveniently done by the consultant attending your doctor’s visits with you, and with your permission.
If you have been diagnosed with a psychological or psychiatric injury and allowing the consultant to attend your visits to your GP, psychologist or psychiatrist would likely aggravate, or have a detrimental impact on, your condition then it’s arguable that you may refuse. However, we would only suggest this if your doctors are of the opinion that it would be detrimental to your wellbeing and are willing to put such an opinion in writing to the insurer and the consultant.
Otherwise, working and allowing your occupational rehabilitation consultant to attend your doctors’ visits with you are two very different tasks and it’s likely that the insurer may allege you are non-compliant with your obligations if you refuse in any other circumstance.
If your doctor refuses to allow them into the appointment with you, that is a matter for your doctor and the consultant and you cannot be accused of being non-compliant with your return to work obligations if your doctor is independently and unilaterally refusing to allow the consultant into the room with you.