This edition was issued on 13 September 2022
Welcome to the latest edition of the Personal Injury Commission News.
This edition provides users and practitioners with some updated information regarding in-person medical assessments. There is momentum being built which we wish to drive to the end of the year in terms of this aspect of our operations.
I will keep practitioners and users informed as to our progress over the coming months.
Furthermore, the Prime Minister has declared a public holiday for Thursday 22 September 2022. I set out below the urgent arrangements we are putting in place with respect to the Commission’s hearings, mediations and medical assessments scheduled for that date.
I will be in touch with another edition of Personal Injury Commission News soon.
Judge Gerard Phillips
In-Person Medical Assessments
Personal Injury Commission News editions 33, 34 and 35 provided a great deal of information about the Commission’s medical assessment list and our steps to overcome the various challenges that this list faces.
I am pleased to provide the following factual details for your information.
In August, 736 medical assessments were scheduled to occur in the Motor Accidents Division. Historically, this is quite a high number. Our attendance figure was 65% which is very encouraging indeed. Thus far 422 Certificates have been issued and this represents a very strong result for that month. In the Motor Accidents Division, this will mean that a number of claims assessments which were awaiting the issuing of the Medical Assessment Certificate can now proceed.
To date, the Commission has scheduled 718 assessments for September. At the time that this Personal Injury Commission News is published, we are approximately halfway through the month and again we are seeing strong attendance figures from claimants and injured workers.
I am really appreciative of the Medical Assessors who have provided us with extra appointments. Additionally, the Commission’s new medical suites at 1 Oxford Street are also operating well and are playing their part in attempting to regularise the situation with respect to medical assessments.
But two good months will not be enough. We must maintain this momentum as close to the Christmas break as possible. Obviously, we will have two full months of scheduled assessments in October and November, with only the single public holiday, the Labour Day weekend, during that period. Clearly December and January are short months, and we will attempt to schedule as many examinations during that period as can sensibly be scheduled.
What can you do?
Clearly from what has happened in August and what we are seeing occurring in September, claimants and injured workers have been increasing their attendance at the Commission’s scheduled examinations. We need to keep this going. The Commission is very appreciative of the efforts that practitioners and insurers are taking to increase attendance rates at our medical examinations. We need to sustain this very pleasing circumstance.
Remember, if for any reason an injured worker or claimant is unable to attend a scheduled assessment, please let us know as soon as possible and we will allocate that assessment to another person.
National Day of Mourning for the Passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Thursday 22 September 2022 – Public Holiday
The Prime Minister has announced that Thursday 22 September 2022 will be a public holiday to honour the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The following urgent arrangements are being put in place with respect to the Commission’s scheduled operations for that day.
Workers Compensation Division – Conciliation/Arbitration Hearings, Preliminary Conferences, Mediations
All of these events will now not proceed on 22 September 2022. The Commission Registry will be in touch with parties in order to arrange a new date.
These matters will now not proceed on 22 September 2022. The Commission Registry will be in touch with parties in order to allocate a new date.
For the reasons outlined in this Personal Injury Commission News and in numerous earlier editions, the Commission has a preference to utilise as many medical assessments that have been scheduled as can sensibly be used. Our plan is as follows:
- There are a discrete number of psychiatric assessments scheduled for 22 September 2022. We are contacting the Medical Assessors concerned and ascertaining whether they are willing to proceed to conduct the assessment online on that date.
- Many of our medical assessments take place at the Medical Assessors’ rooms, which will now be closed for the public holiday on 22 September 2022. The Commission’s Medical Services Directorate will undertake the task of rescheduling these assessments. The Commission’s medical suites will not be operating on 22 September 2022. We will endeavor to reschedule the 22 September medical assessments at the earliest date possible. In some circumstances this may involve the assessment taking place outside of usual hours.
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