We understand that you may be going through a difficult time or may be frustrated by the claims process, however to make sure that we can progress your referral as soon as we can, it is important that you attend and co-operate with the Medical Panel examination.
Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that will help you understand what you need to do before your appointment.
We'll make an appointment for you as soon as we can, with the most suitable Medical Panel. However, our medical doctors don’t work here on a full-time basis and waiting times will depend on the type of injury, the type of questions the Panel needs to address and the availability of doctors.
It usually takes 6 to 8 weeks from the time we receive your referral, but it could be closer to 8 to 12 weeks for more complicated cases or if the doctors needed aren’t available.
Once we receive a referral, we send acknowledgment letters to all parties. We’ll then contact you directly to find a suitable appointment time. The waiting time for an appointment depends on the type of injury and the availability of the most appropriate panel members.
Once an appointment time has been set, appointment letters are sent approximately four weeks before the appointment with details of:
- the Panel Members’ names and specialties
- the date, time and location of the appointment
We allocate 75 minutes for most Medical Panel appointments.
Depending on the complexity of your injury and the questions for the Panel, some appointments may be only 30 minutes or could be as long as 90 minutes (or may be shorter or longer).
Most people attend only one appointment. However, you may need to come to a second appointment, depending on your situation, the Panel Member's questions, and the availability of doctors (different doctors from the same Panel may need to see you at different times).
Most of the appointments take place at our Melbourne (CBD) office:
Level 6 (North Tower)
485a La Trobe Street
Sometimes appointments will need to take place offsite if they require special equipment, such as hearing loss exams, eye exams and lung function exams. Your appointment letter will where each of your appointments is being held and if there are any specific instructions you need to follow.
There are some instances where a videoconference appointment may be suitable (psychiatric injuries), and you will receive a call from our office with additional support in using Zoom.
If you are required to attend a face to face appointment (physical injuries), there may be instances where one of the Panel Members is required to attend via videoconference to ensure social distancing requirements are met within our examination rooms. In these instances, you will still be required to attend in person as will the remainder of the Panel.
You will not need to pay anything for your appointment.
For WorkCover cases the cost is paid by the WorkSafe Agent or self-insured employer.
For Wrongs Act claims the cost is paid by the respondent (the person or company who the claim is against).
Yes, you can get help arranging travel to your Medical Panel appointment.
For a WorkCover claim you should contact your WorkCover Agent or self-insured employer.
For non-WorkCover claims (Wrongs Act), you should contact your representative.
Depending on the circumstances, we can reschedule the appointment or put the matter on hold for you. Please note that if your appointment needs to be rescheduled, it will cause a delay in resolving your case. For WorkCover claims, if you fail to attend on multiple occasions it may lead to suspension of your weekly payments, medical treatment or medication expenses, etc.
If you're running very late, the Medical Panel appointment may need to be cancelled and rescheduled to another date and time. This is to ensure the Medical Panel has enough time to spend on your assessment.
Sometimes the Medical Panel may be running late. This can happen because of a medical emergency or the complexity of some appointments. If you’re able to wait, the Panel will see you as soon as they can. If not, please let our reception staff know and another appointment will be arranged for you.
Due to the current Covid-19 social distancing requirements, it is not currently possible for additional attendees/support persons to be admitted into the Medical Panels appointment and they will be asked to wait in the building foyer.
However, if you are entitled to have a representative under the law (person under eighteen years of age, person with a disability, have a legally appointed advocate) please contact our office directly so suitable arrangements/preparations can be made to ensure your representative can be admitted.
Legal representatives, WorkCover insurers, union representatives, employers or any other official party to the dispute cannot attend a Medical Panel appointment with you or on your behalf.
Yes. In these cases you're entitled to have another person present at your appointment to represent you.
If you have a copy of the following information relating to your injury, you should bring it with you to the appointment:
- X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, nerve conduction studies and the reports that go with them
- Results of any other tests (e.g. blood tests, urine tests or any other tests)
- A list of medications
Yes, if you want to provide the Medical Panel with additional information you can. This may be medical reports from a hospital, doctor or allied health professional, a summary of information in your own words, etc. This can be sent by mail, email or fax. This information doesn't have to be provided on the day of the appointment, but could be sent to our office before or after your appointment. However, once the Medical Panel has formed its opinion, no additional information will be considered.
Please note: Any information you provide to the Medical Panel will be provided to the other parties involved. If you've been sent to the Medical Panel by the Magistrates' Court or County Court, any information you want to give to the Panel needs to be approved by the magistrate or judge before it's given to the Medical Panel, and is best provided to the Panel through your representatives.
Medical Panels has implemented additional health and safety precautions and requirements related to Covid-19 in order to protect you, the Panel Members and our staff during your examination.
- Our Nurse Receptionist will contact you the day prior to your scheduled examination to ask you some questions related to your current state of health and to confirm that it is safe for you to attend your exam.
- The wearing of a face mask is required when attending Panels and for the full duration of your examination (please allow for up to 2 hours). Our Nurses will supply you with a mask upon arrival to wear.
If you are unable to wear a mask for any reason, please contact our office immediately. Failure to contact us PRIOR to attending may result in your examination being unable to proceed as currently scheduled. Delays may be experienced when rescheduling your appointment as special arrangements will need to be made.
Please note - Should your answers to the pre-screening questions fall outside the norms or you display symptoms upon arrival, your appointment will not be able to proceed at that time. A new appointment will be arranged for you once you have obtained a negative COVID test result. Alternatively, there will be a delay in your new appointment/s, as we need to allow sufficient time to ensure the safety of our office staff, Panel Members and other members of the public attending our office.
Reviewed 04 November 2022