You want fair, but not a soft touch

September 16th, 2012 at 7:39 am by David Farrar

Andrea Vance at Stuff reports:

Work and Income is using “chequebook doctors” to move sick claimants off welfare, advocates say.

State insurer has been criticised for paying medical assessors to examine long-term clients, and lawyers and claimant groups have questioned the assessors’ independence, calling them “hatchet men and women”.

Now those charges are being levelled at . Critics say it is operating a similar system by employing almost 300 “designated doctors” to assess beneficiaries.

Advocates will of course have a negative view of anyone who disagrees with their clients getting the benefit they want. They often have a philosophical view that anyone should be able to get welfare, with no work testing.

A key difference with ACC is there is legitimate criticism that some of the ACC designated doctors do nothing but ACC cases, and are dependent on ACC for most of their income. WINZ has 300 designated doctors who reviews 3,000 cases a year so the average doctor does one case a month.

 

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8 Responses to “You want fair, but not a soft touch”

  1. Viking2 (11,672 comments) says:

    Our money our rules. Want a benefit then thems the rules or find someone else to pay your way.
    Harden up.

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  2. hj (7,156 comments) says:

    For the health and sustainability of any system you have to have checks and balances.

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  3. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    Long may the “hatchet” men and women continue to be hard on those who want tax payer funds.

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  4. MT_Tinman (3,315 comments) says:

    big bruv (10,701) Says:
    September 16th, 2012 at 8:03 am
    Long may the “hatchet” men and women continue to be hard on those who want tax payer funds.

    Damned straight!

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  5. annie (539 comments) says:

    I agree with you totally – ACC’s doctors do much or all of their work for ACC, which raises questions about their impartiality being influenced by self interest. Their number also includes doctors thought among local members of their profession to have failed financially in private practice or to have been eased out of public practice. So in some cases their competence is also in question.

    WINZ, as you point out, is quite different. They’re also a lot less bloody-minded and irrational regarding complex physical conditions while at the same time helping to pick up people who should be working.

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  6. Paulus (2,707 comments) says:

    My private Medical Insurance has a list of designated medical specialists – so what is different ?

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  7. jims_whare (408 comments) says:

    ACC pfft – My misuss is still waiting for a refund cheque from a credit note issued 5 months ago.

    The number of excuses and procedural roadblocks she has had to go through is mind blowing.

    However when they send out their multitude of invoices you don’t dare pay a day late unless you want to be hit with penalties.

    But when the $$$ flow the other way then its its getting blood out of a stone.

    Oh and it was a refund on an overcharged self-employed acc invoice from a year ago ( They took mroe than they were entitled to and then don’t want to give it back)

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  8. artemisia (268 comments) says:

    jims_whare – make a request under the Official Information Act for the reasons the refund has been delayed, including file notes, and for a copy of the relevant section of the procedures manual relating to refunds to clients. Chocolate fish she gets the refund within 2 weeks.

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