In an attempt to resolve financial issues within NSW’s workers compensation scheme, certain private insurers have suggested offloading some of the cost onto the injured workers themselves.
In a submission to the State Insurance Regulatory Authority’s (SIRA) review into the scheme, iCare, the largest insurer of worker’s compensation, have suggested reducing the fees doctors are paid for procedures and making workers pay a gap fee for some treatments.
The suggestion has elicited a swift and damning response from multiple authorities including the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and Australian Lawyers Association (ALA).
“It is not the responsibility of injured workers to rein in the costs of the workers compensation scheme,” said Mr Andrew Stone SC, barrister and NSW State President of the ALA.
The AMA’s NSW branch is “disappointed and concerned” about the “unfounded and inappropriate attacks on the medical profession by iCare.”
Realistically, if such an amendment to the workers comp scheme were to be made, many victims who are already experiencing the financial hardship of injury-induced unemployment would be placed under further stress. In many cases, these people are already on the cusp of a weekly net-loss of income and additional payments would only exacerbate the suffering.
In an effort to fix the issues within NSW’s workers compensation scheme, It seems that insurers such as iCare need to find other ways to mitigate their substantial financial losses that will not be at the expense of the people they help.
If you have questions about workers compensation claims, feel free to reach out to Emma and the team at Burke Mead Lawyers for further information and advice.