Where a medical question arises in any proceedings before the Tribunal, the Tribunal may:
- determine the medical question based on medical evidence presented to it; or
- refer the medical question to a medical panel formed under section 50 of the Workers Rehabilitation & Compensation Act 1988.
The Tribunal may only refer a medical question to a medical panel if there is a conflict of medical opinion on the question between a medical practitioner engaged by the worker and any medical practitioner engaged by the employer or insurer.
The Tribunal will select two or three practitioners to form the panel, at least one of which is to be a general practitioner and one is to have particular expertise in the medical field to which the question relates.
The Tribunal must not nominate a person to be on a medical panel who has at any time been involved in the examination or treatment of the worker.
The Tribunal will ensure that the medical panel is provided with any information in its possession likely to assist in determining the medical question.
A medical panel or member may conduct such examinations of the worker that he or she considers necessary to determine the question referred to it. A medical panel may require a worker to answer questions, provide relevant documents or give consent for others to provide relevant documents.
A medical panel is to make its determination as soon as practicable but no later than 28 days after the medical question has been referred to it. Within 7 days after making a determination a medical panel is to provide the Tribunal, in writing, its written determination and the reasoning used to determine the medical question.
The Tribunal will provide a copy of the determination within 3 days of receiving it to the worker and any other interested party.
If the medical panel is unable to determine a medical question it is to be returned to the Tribunal for its determination.
The Tribunal is bound by the determination of a medical panel given in response to a medical question.
If a worker fails, without reasonable cause, to attend before a medical panel or appears before a medical panel but refuses to be medically examined or in any way obstructs the examination the Tribunal may suspend the worker's right to compensation under the Act until he or she appears before the medical panel or undergoes the examination.
Useful links / information
- Section 71 Workers Rehabilitation & Compensation Act 1988 - Compensation for Permanent Impairment
- Section 72 Workers Rehabilitation & Compensation Act 1988 - Assessment of Degree of Impairment
- Section 72A, 73 & 73A Workers Rehabilitation & Compensation Act 1988 - Industrial Deafness
- WorkSafe Tasmania Health Providers Information
- AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (Fourth Edition, Third Printing) 1995