Information about Medical Panels
What does a Medical Panel do?
The members of a Medical Panel work together on a referral to provide medical opinions in two areas of Victorian law, workers' compensation, and personal injury compensation claims covered by the Wrongs Act 1958.
The opinion of a Medical Panel must be accepted as final and conclusive by any court, body or person. It can profoundly affect the parties involved. For example, workers' compensation payments can be varied or terminated, entitlements for medical and like services can be restored or revoked, and non-economic loss claims can be eliminated.
Key Data 2018-19
Operating Budget: $20M (approximately)
Total Referrals: 4,290
Appointments: 5,500 (approximately)
Finalised Opinions & Determinations: 3,900
Medical Panel Member Role and Responsibilities
Members are nominated to individual Medical Panels because of their medical expertise, ability to comprehensively analyse medical information and effectively communicate the reasons for their opinion (decision).
Members work collaboratively in multi-disciplinary teams to answer medical questions. In order to do this, Members are expected to:
- conduct a medical examination (if required), contribute to written reports and actively collaborate with other members to influence and form a comprehensive written document communicating the collective opinion and reasons for the opinion
- bring an understanding of, or commitment to learning about, medico legal issues, and collaborate effectively through a web-based document management platform, to produce a legally binding document
- attend an induction and development programs
- complete appropriate medico-legal education including the approved training to conduct impairment assessments in accordance with the AMA Guidelines to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.
Who can be nominated to a Medical Panel?
The Convenor nominates members to each Medical Panel from the List. Each Medical Panel is independent and functions as a tribunal.
The composition of each Medical Panel is based on the nature of the dispute taking into consideration the type of injuries and questions asked. Given the composition of a Medical Panel is dependent on the cases referred, some specialities may be appointed to Medical Panels more frequently than others.
Medical Panel consultations and / or examinations take place in Melbourne on a sessional basis. Car parking is provided and public transport is within walking distance.
Selection criteria for eligible medical practitioners
The following criteria are applicable for medical practitioners seeking appointment to the List:
- A registered medical practitioner with a minimum of five years of specialty practice supported by a description of years in specialty and/or subspecialty, evidence of fellowship and continuing education in the chosen specialty
- Completion of (preferred) or enrolment in, the approved training to conduct impairment assessments in accordance with the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (4th Edit.)
- Ability to demonstrate good reputation, expertise and standing within the medical profession detailing appointments/positions held and/or published research
- Demonstrated ability to work harmoniously within multidisciplinary teams
- Satisfy standard mandatory probity checks
Medical Panel members are entitled to payment for each referral at rates approved by the Victorian Government. The current Schedule of Fees and Costs from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 is listed below. Fees and Costs are reviewed annually and increases are gazetted.
Declaring Private Interests
It is critical that the members of each Medical Panel are impartial and have no conflicting private, professional or other interest in, or connection to, any of the parties involved in a referral. Upon appointment and yearly thereafter appointees are required to complete a declaration which will enable Medical Panels to manage any conflicts that may arise.