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Medical practitioners

For: Service providers Information seekers

As a registered medical practitioner—working as a general practitioner or a specialist—you play a vital role in the rehabilitation and return to work of employees.


Your role in an employee's rehabilitation

The main goal for a medical practitioner working with an employee who has a work-related injury or illness is to help the employee safely stay at or return to work, health and independence as soon as possible.

As a medical practitioner, you play a critical role in an employee's rehabilitation and return to work and health.

Your role with an employee who has a work-related illness or injury is to:

  • diagnose and assess their illness, injury or health condition
  • assess work capacity and provide medical certification
  • provide advice on and deliver or monitor medical treatment
  • refer employees for specialist treatment
  • assist in preparing and endorsing a rehabilitation program, in consultation with the employer, employee and their rehabilitation provider
  • provide advice on alternative duties or workplace modifications
  • assess the ability of the employee to undertake suitable employment identified by the employer or rehabilitation provider
  • review proposed return to work plans to ensure duties suit capacity
  • monitor the progress of the rehabilitation program and the return to work plan (where agreed).

Diagnosis

For a claim to be accepted, there must be a clear diagnosis from a medical practitioner.

Under the Seafarers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992 (Seafarers Act), a legally qualified medical practitioner can be a general practitioner or a specialist, such as a surgeon or psychiatrist.

A claims manager may contact you, as the employee’s treating medical practitioner, if they need more information about an employee’s injury or illness.

Contact is often made in writing and the claims manager will ask you to provide a written response. In some cases, a phone call may be enough to clarify an issue.

If you want to discuss any matter related to an employee’s claim, you can contact the claims manager to discuss the case.

Support available to injured and ill employees

A range of support and payments are available to help an employee return to health and to work.

Employees who have a compensable claim under the Seafarers Act may be able to claim for support and benefits.

See Supports for your recovery and benefits for more information.

Billing for medical treatment

After an employee makes a claim for compensation, the claims manager lets the employee know if their claim has been accepted.

The employee is then responsible for letting their medical practitioner know if they are entitled to compensation benefits.

If a claim is not accepted, any unpaid accounts will be returned to the employee to arrange for payment.

Page last reviewed: 20 April 2021
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GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 | www.seacare.gov.au

Date printed 09 Dec 2021

https://www.seacare.gov.au/roles/legal-practitioners