The New South Wales State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has amended clause 175 of the Workers’ Compensation Regulation 2016 and 4.64 of the Motor Accident Guidelines to provide a 12-month continuation of the arrangements that allow treating physiotherapists or psychologists to issue second and subsequent certificates to an injured person if the injury relates to their area of expertise.
Meanwhile, a doctor must continue to issue the initial certificate of fitness or capacity to an injured person. The certificate of capacity is used by insurers to inform decisions about a worker's current work capacity and entitlement to compensation.
SIRA stated that the changes support the New South Wales government's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The regulator also collaborated with two independent research institutions, the John Walsh Centre of Rehabilitation Research (JWCRR) and Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI), to conduct a file review of the first 1,000 claims that entered the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 scheme. It allocated 500 claims to both institutes for analysation.
The institutions' reviews are now complete and can be found on the SIRA website – reviewed at regular intervals for two years focusing on insurer injury management processes, minor injury threshold for soft tissue and psychological injuries, and data collection opportunities to improve ongoing scheme monitoring.