Welcome to the Northern Territory Workers Compensation Scheme.
This short video will provide doctors with useful tips when completing NT WorkSafe fitness for work medical certificate referred to as medical certificates in this video.
The medical certificate places emphasis on what the worker can do rather than what they cannot do and aligns with the Australian andNew Zealand consensus statement on the health benefits of work.
Medical certificates are designed to assist doctors with helping patients return to work following a work-related injury.
In the Northern Territory, workers compensation claims are managed by the employers workers compensation insurer.
All insurers in the Northern Territory have agreed they will pay for an injured workers initial consultation and completion of the medical certificate regardless of the decision about liability for the claim.
Injured workers have access to service and support to help them return to work as part of their workers compensation claim.
Medical certificates help insurers make decisions about the injured workers claim and are essential in return to work planning.
Treating doctors play an essential role in a patient's treatment injury management recovery and return to work.
The medical certificate should only be completed by treating doctors and shouldn't be confused with medical reviews that may be requested by the workers employer or insurer.
When a worker lodges a claim form they sign an authority for the release of medical and relevant personal information.
This Authority is only for the disclosure and release of information which is relevant to the injury for which the claim is made.
Everyone involved with the workersreturned to work activities the doctor the worker the employer the vocational rehabilitation provider and the insurers case manager should communicate and work together to achieve a successful outcome.
Doctors may receive requests from rehabilitation providers and employers to be present for the workers consultation.
Workers are entitled to privacy during consultationswith their doctor.
it is suggested that back-to-backappointments be organised or dovetailed into a long consultation when these requests are made.
Communicating with the employer is important in managing a workers injury.
Medical certificates are vital as they tell the employer what the doctor considers the worker can safely do at work.
There are three template certificates the doctor can use each at different stages.
The first medical certificate is a legal requirement as the worker needs it to lodge their workers compensation claim if they are claiming for lost time.
The progress medical certificate is used for all subsequent consultations and outline the workers progress medication and treatment work capacity and injury management plan.
The progress certificate is usually issued at 28 days or as required.
The final medical certificate is issued when the injury or illness no longer impacts on the workers ability to work.
As everyone involved in the patient's claim will be relying on the doctor to guide the workers treatment and injury management their medical opinion shouldbe captured clearly in each of the certificates.
To be effective it's important every part of the certificate is completed.
If employers or insurers can't understand the recommendations the workers recovery or return to work may be delayed.
The more information provided the easier it will be for the worker the employer and the insurer to identify suitable duties and structure a return to work plan.
On a medical certificate the doctor can indicate what the worker can and cannot do workplace adjustments that would assist the worker referral to treating specialists referral to allied health professionals specified or modified duties or hours of work.
Doctors can help insurance or employers develop a return to work plan for the injured worker.
it is important realistic goals are identified early so everyone can work towards them.
The ideal is to return the worker to the same job with the same employer within the short-term.
However this is not always possible if this is the case encourage the worker to remain in contact with their employer and to focus on their recovery activities.
If the worker needs help finding a new job with a new employer or you the treating doctor have identified other issues affecting their return to work a vocational rehabilitation provider can assist.
A list of approved vocational rehabilitation providers is available on the NT WorkSafe website.
As the treating doctor you can speak tothe insurance case manager about appointing a vocational rehabilitation provider or make a recommendation on the medical certificate.
You can request more information from the insurer or the employer aboutthe workers workplace along with an initial needs assessment worksite assessment or job analysis by the vocational rehabilitation provider.
If the worker advises they are experiencing difficulties following a return to work plan.
It may also be helpful for you the doctor to speak with the employer vocational rehabilitation provider or insurer so adjustments can be made.
Doctors are also encouraged to requesta case conference to meet with everyone involved with the claim and talk through any issues.
Watch our case conferences video to find out more.
Further information and help are available if you have any questions contact the claims manager or NT WorkSafe who can assist you.