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    Should you see your own doctor after an injury at work?

    February 6, 2024

    Should you see your own doctor after an injury at work?

    Work-related injuries can have a significant impact on the physical and mental well-being of employees and their families. In the face of such challenges, every worker has the right to expect a safe working environment. However, if an injury does occur, it becomes crucial to take the correct steps to ensure proper and timely treatment, as well as the possibility of compensation.

    Why is seeing your own doctor important?

    In case of a workplace injury, it is vital to prioritise a consultation with your own doctor. While some employers may suggest visiting a “company doctor,” it is advisable to decline this option. Seeking advice from your doctor offers several advantages:

    Personalised Care: Your doctor is well-acquainted with your medical history, enabling a more accurate diagnosis and personalised treatment. This familiarity allows for a comprehensive consideration of any pre-existing conditions or illnesses that may affect your recovery.

    Comfort and Confidence: Discussing your injuries with your doctor tends to create a more comfortable and supportive environment compared to a company-appointed physician, where external pressures may be perceived. This comfort and confidence are integral to the healing process.

    Rehabilitation Support: Your doctor is better positioned to provide ongoing support for rehabilitation and can collaborate on effective return-to-work plans, addressing any specific requirements stipulated by workers’ compensation insurers.

    Understanding Your Rights

    As mentioned earlier, employers might recommend a visit to the “Company Doctor” for convenience and stress reduction. Unfortunately, many individuals injured at work may not be fully aware of their rights. To ensure that you receive optimal medical advice and treatment, it becomes crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of your rights:

    Right to Your Own Doctor: Despite employer recommendations, you retain the right to consult with your doctor.

    Privacy Matters: Company representatives should not be present during your medical appointments. It is essential to insist on the confidentiality of your medical discussions, even if the workplace suggests the presence of a representative.

    Taking Control of Your Recovery Journey

    In the aftermath of a workplace injury, certain proactive actions can significantly influence your recovery and potential compensation:

    Meticulous Record Keeping: Maintain a detailed written record of all injuries, including dates and medical appointments. This documentation is vital for substantiating claims related to medical treatment costs and income loss due to time off work.

    Choose Wisely: When selecting a doctor, prioritise your well-being over employer convenience. Having confidence in your own doctor’s support is essential for a quicker and more effective recovery.

    Timely Legal Advice: If uncertainties arise about the next steps, seek legal advice promptly. It is important to be aware that time limits apply to workers’ compensation claims.

    In conclusion, it is imperative for workers to be fully aware of their rights and to take proactive measures following a workplace injury. Opting to consult with your own doctor, preserving the privacy of your medical discussions, and seeking legal advice when necessary, ensures that your well-being takes precedence during the recovery process. By making informed choices, you empower yourself to navigate the complexities of post-injury recovery with confidence and resilience.

     

    Further reading about Workers’ Compensation in Queensland

    https://www.qld.gov.au/jobs/entitlements/compensation

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