Advice for managers and employers referring staff members for an Occupational Doctor’s assessment

What is it?

What is an Occupational Doctor?

An Occupational Doctor is a medical doctor or medical specialist, working with organisations and employees to provide  advice and management of issues affecting (and affected by) health at work.

How long do appointments take?

Appointments are generally between 30 minutes to one hour. The staff member is welcome to bring a support person with them if they wish.

What can I expect from the report?

How long will it take to get a report?

Generally, reports are available within one to two weeks but can be supplied sooner if the matter is of particular urgency.It’s important to note often the doctor has to consult with the person’s general practitioner or other specialists and may need to see and review old medical notes. This often takes a great deal of time because it can be quite difficult to access records from a busy general practice, specialist’s office or  hospital’s medical records.

What will the doctor include in the report?

The doctor can include information on health issues that are affecting (or affected by) work and what is reported by the staff member.

What can't the doctor include in reports?

Generally, reports are available within one to two weeks but can be supplied sooner if the matter is of particular urgency.It’s important to note often the doctor has to consult with the person’s general practitioner or other specialists and may need to see and review old medical notes. This often takes a great deal of time because it can be quite difficult to access records from a busy general practice, specialist’s office or  hospital’s medical records.

About stress, depression and mental health issues

We often receive referrals for stress, depression and mental health issues.

It’s important to note these conditions are amongst the most complicated and difficult to manage and impact on work.Often there is no simple  answer and the prognosis is difficult to predict. These conditions are very much different from,for example, a sprain or strain or other type of physical injury, where the recovery can usually be predicted quite accurately. It is important to be aware these are often chronic conditions that have been present for many months before the Occupational Physician is involved. A return to work and full productivity may be impossible or may take some weeks or months to achieve and the progress towards a return to work may be complicated by setbacks and relapses. If there is a claim of work-related stress or a mental health condition, the Occupational Physician is often unable to determine “who is at fault”, as the employer (or manager’s) and employee’s versions of events frequently differ.

How can I get more information?

We are happy to assist you further. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on +64 4 529 7375.

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