Workers Compensation - Finding Specialist Treating Doctors in Queensland?

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Well-Known Member
31 October 2014
Hi everyone,

I am writing a report on workplace compensation in Queensland, particularly in the area of disputing denials of WorkCover benefits. I was wondering if there is anyone living in rural northern Queensland who can help a Canadian eager to learn more about my beloved Australians.

Is it hard to find a specialist treating doctor in main towns such as Townsville, Mackay, Mt Isa, Toowoomba, etc.?

My research suggests that these big mining towns have the higher percentages of serious workers compensation claims, so I think it is safe to say that there would also be a higher demand for specialist doctors such as orthopedic surgeons, physiatrists (apparently this is not a term used in Australia, but they're the equivalent of physical medicine and pain doctors.), serious mental health psychiatrists, etc.

Is it hard for people to get access to these specializations up north? My understanding is that they have FIFO doctors that fly up there to tackle a shortage, yet I also have people from Townsville saying there isn't a problem finding those doctors. I would imagine a FIFO doctor would be tough, especially for chronic clients because when that doctor leaves, they pretty much start back at square one finding another specialist.

This is an important issue for injured workers in my opinion because if your WorkCover claim is denied (e.g. you didn't meet the 5% threshold), the issue may be something as simple as your determination may have been made by an orthopedic surgeon instead of say, a rhumetologist and thus your actual injury may not have been properly diagnosed and assessed with respect to your ability to work.

This is not really a law heavy enquiry so I apologize if it doesn't really suit the forum, but I thought I may ask because the final article will definitely speak to legal concerns in that area.