Procedural Direction PIC11 – Medical Assessments Procedure – COVID-19
This Procedural Direction sets out the requirements that must be satisfied by a worker/claimant for an in-person medical assessment to proceed during the pandemic.
This Procedural Direction applies to: Workers Compensation Division and Motor Accidents Division
Date of commencement: This Procedural Direction commences operation on 1 June 2022. The earlier version ceases to operate on 1 June 2022.
1. The Commission is committed to delivering services efficiently during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of staff, members, service partners, parties, their legal representatives, and any other person involved in Commission proceedings.
2. This Procedural Direction sets out the requirements that must be satisfied for Medical Assessments until further notice.
A person appointed under section 33 of the Personal Injury Commission Act 2020.
A Medical Assessment is an independent assessment, conducted by Medical Assessor, of a medical dispute involving persons who have been injured at work or on the road, their employers and insurers.
Commission’s Medical Suites
The Medical Suites located at Level 8, 1 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.
Assessors’ Medical Suites
A Medical Suite controlled by a Medical Assessor and identified by the Medical Assessor as appropriate to conduct a Medical Assessment.
The spaces/mechanisms used to conduct a Medical Assessment.
3. The President, Principal Registrar or a Division Head may excuse a party from complying with any aspect of this Procedural Direction before or after the time specified for compliance.
4. Subject to paragraph 3, nothing in this Procedural Direction prevents the President or a member directing a party to take any appropriate step in proceedings.
5. This Procedural Direction must be read with, and subject to, any provision of the Personal Injury Commission Act 2020 (PIC Act), the enabling legislation, the Personal Injury Commission Rules 2021 (PIC Rules) and the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).
6. Parties should be familiar with the following:
(a) section 3 of the PIC Act, which sets out the objects of the PIC Act;
(b) part 5 of the PIC Act, which sets out the practice of the Commission, and
(c) part 2 of the PIC Rules.
7. The following Venues can be used to conduct a Medical Assessment:
(a) Venue 1 – Online (using a platform approved by the Commission);
(b) Venue 2 – On-the-papers;
(c) Venue 3 – In-person at the Commission’s Medical Suites;
(d) Venue 4 – In-person at the Medical Assessors’ Medical Suites; or
(e) Venue 5 – A combination of any of Venues 1 -4.
8. Subject to paragraphs 9 and 10, the Commission will select the Venue for each Medical Assessment based on its assessment of the relevant facts including any submissions from parties.
9. Assessments that deal with psychiatric conditions will generally use Venue 1.
10. Venues 3 and 4 will only be used if the proposed participants:
(a) are not displaying cold or flu-like symptoms on the scheduled assessment date
(b) wear any of the following face masks during the medical assessment:
i. single use, disposable surgical grade mask; or
ii. a triple layered cloth mask; or
iii. a mask with superior effectiveness such as N95s or KN95s.
Who Can Attend a Medical Assessment Conducted Using Venues 3 and 4?
11. Individuals are strongly encouraged not to attend a medical assessment at Venues 3 and 4 if they or a member of their household is currently COVID-positive.
12. Only the person who is scheduled to be assessed can attend a medical assessment where Venue 3 or 4 will be used
13. A support person may only be present at a medical assessment in Venues 3 and 4, in accordance with the requirements in paragraphs 52 – 55 of Procedural Direction PIC6 – Medical Assessments