What are Medical Panels?
Medical Panels are expert panels of medical practitioners drawn from a wide range of specialty areas statutorily appointed as a List of Eligible Members (the List) by the Victorian Government. From the List, the Convenor of Medical Panels puts together groups of practitioners to form Medical Panels to:
- conduct medical consultations and examinations
- comprehensively analyse the medical information
- apply the facts to medical questions relating to workers’ compensation or other personal injury law, and make a final and binding decision.
Medical Panels perform a different function to independent medical examiners or other medico-legal work; individually convened Medical Panels function as independent tribunals, and Panel Members are accorded the same protection and immunity as a judge of the Supreme Court in performance of his or her duties.
Role of allied health practitioners on Medical Panels
Allied health practitioners play an important role by providing specialist expertise that supplements the medical expertise of the Panel Members.
Under the terms of the legislation, allied health practitioners cannot be appointed to the List of Eligible Members (the List) by the Victorian Government.
Role of consultants on Medical Panels
Consultants who are medical practitioners (but not appointed to the List of Eligible Members) also play an important role on Medical Panels. They’re often engaged to work with Medical Panels supplementing the medical expertise of the Panel Members.
Key responsibilities for allied health practitioners and consultants
Similar to medical panellists, allied health practitioners and consultants are expected to:
- be respectful and listen to the claimant/worker
- be objective and remain independent
- ensure there is no conflict of interest or unconscious bias
- be timely in answering medical questions, rigorous in thinking, with a collegial approach
Allied health practitioners or consultants do not directly contact anyone involved in the referral.
Individuals are expected to:
- maintain the professional development required in their field of expertise
- ensure their AMA4 training is completed in a timely manner (if not already completed)
The work at Medical Panels can fit into your existing commitments. It can be as little or as large as you want, however, any engagement with individually convened Medical Panels is based on the operational needs and referral demands of Medical Panels.
Aside from the consultation appointments, you will need additional time to work with your Medical Panel colleagues to develop and deliver the Opinions and Reasons documents.
Benefits of engagement with Medical Panels
Being an allied health practitioner or consultant provides a number of unique benefits for practitioners:
- The work is intellectually and clinically challenging.
- The work is undertaken in a collegial manner with a broad range of medical specialists.
- There is flexible and family-friendly scheduling available.
- Remuneration and onsite parking is provided.
Transitioning from a consultant to a medical panellist
Medical Panels is committed to ensuring an inclusive and diverse environment that recognises, respects and supports its workforce. It values medical practitioners engaged initially as consultants who may wish to transition to become medical panellists.
Medical Panels has recently closed it recruitment cycle for appointment to a Medical Panel (the List) for a period of up to three years from 1 January 2020. The next recruitment cycle will commence in July 2020 for appointment for up to 18 months from 1 July 2021. Enquiries and expressions of interest are always welcome from medical practitioners who wish to engage with Medical Panels and learn more information.
Expressions of interest
Reviewed 08 November 2019