It just gets worse and worse at ACC doesn't it? Forget the lying about Bronwyn Pullar threatening them or a Minister too caught up in petty defamation action to be effective, the latest revelations about ACC flying hatchet Drs around the country to purposely dump claimants is an ugly, ugly, ugly deformity of a once proud public service...
ACC pays millions to send its 'hatchets'
ACC is spending millions of dollars flying doctors around New Zealand to assess long-term clients who have already been assessed by other doctors.
The policy has been slammed by John Miller - one of the country's top lawyers specialising in ACC legislation - who said the so-called “independence” of some assessors was a sham.
ACC lawyers, advocates and claimant groups know those doctors as “hatchet men and women”, Mr Miller said.
“They are not independent, as a substantial part of their income comes from ACC,” he said.
ACC figures reveal the corporation pays millions of dollars a year to a group of “independent assessors”, often flying them to towns or cities where other doctors with suitable qualifications already practise.
In some cases the ACC assessors are flown from the South Island to North Island cities.
At least $3 million was spent last year on airfares and assessment fees for a group of less than 12 doctors.
Mr Miller said medical professionals had expressed serious concerns to him about the issue.
Because some assessors earned virtually all their income from ACC it was “inevitable” they would tend to “provide reports ACC wants".
...by running ACC like a business rather than public service it has adopted all the cut throat tactics of corporate insurers working to find any loophole to allow them to disqualify applicants. NZ has an injury rate 5 times that of the UK and ACC's mentality to cheat the public isn't helping deal with that.
Well done 60 minutes on TV3 for refusing to let the issue die. If Labour want inroads, they should start by demanding ACC goes back to serving the public rather than scamming them.