2.7.4 Standards & complaints

See: Independent medical examiners

2.7.5 Complaints against IMEs

If a worker is concerned about the conduct of an IME Independent Medical Examiner / Independent Medical Examination, they may make a complaint.

Complaints may include allegations of:

  • causing unnecessary pain in an examination
  • complaints of an examiner’s manner
  • incorrect reporting
  • inappropriate behaviour.
WorkSafe's role

The nature of the IME complaint determines how it will be handled. WorkSafe will only investigate complaints relating to manner/conduct of the IME, or factual inaccuracies in an IME report.

Administrative complaints against IME's should be raised with the Centralised Complaints Team (CCT) at WorkSafe (phone 03 9641 1225 or email complaints@worksafe.vic.gov.au).

The CCT:

  • raise the complaint in the Complaints Tracking System (CTS)

  • obtain the worker’s consent

  • allocate the complaint to the Service Improvement & Complaints team (SI&C)

The SI&C team:

  • investigate the complaint

  • seek a response from the IME

  • prepare the outcome letters

  • if a complaint appears to be substantiated, obtain SME advice from the WSV IME team before proceeding

Concerns about the professional and ethical conduct of IMEs may be referred to either the:

  • Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria or relevant Allied Health Board or
  • Health Services Commissioner
Types of complaints

Note: Agents must not contact the IME about any matter relating to any complaint.

Verbal complaint

If a verbal complaint is received, the Agent must:

  • register the complaint
  • advise the complainant that WorkSafe assesses complaints about IMEs and that the complaint will be referred to WorkSafe
  • notify WorkSafe immediately about the complaint by contacting the Centralised Complaints Team on 03 9641 1225. Include the following information:
    • complainant's name (if not worker, please specify)
    • claim number
    • name of examiner
    • outline of complaint

Written complaint

If a written complaint is received, the Agent must:

  • date stamp the day of receipt
  • forward complaints within 24 hours of receipt to:
    • Centralised Complaints Team
      WorkSafe Victoria
      PO Box 279
      GEELONG VIC 3220
  •  or

    • complaints@worksafe.vic.gov.au

  • include relevant additional information about the complainant or medical examiner (e.g. medical reports, IME referral letter correspondence previously received)
  • place a copy of documentation on the worker’s claim file
  • notify the complainant that WorkSafe assesses complaints about IMEs and that the complaint will be referred to WorkSafe

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Keep a register of complaints

Agents are encouraged to keep a central register to record the details of all complaints against an IME, whether verbal or written. Details that should be recorded include:

  • date complaint received
  • IME’s name and address
  • details of appointment
  • name of worker
  • claim number
  • name of employer
  • name of person or organisation making complaint, if not worker
  • details of complaint
  • type of complaint:
  • verbal or written
  • administrative or medical
  • date complaint referred to WorkSafe
  • details of actions taken
Referrals to an IME who is/was the subject of a complaint

If the worker has lodged a complaint and specifically requested not to be referred to the IME again, seek an alternative IME for future examinations for that worker.

Note: Only WorkSafe can remove an IME from the approved list but Agents can determine which IMEs from the list are to be used.

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