Reform WorkCover. Give injured workers a fair go.
I want you to imagine, that you‘re seriously injured at work. Under the current workers compensation system in Australia, standard practice is to hire private detectives to follow, and film you. You’ll be processed by an outdated system that is designed to manage your injury rather than fix it. Insurance companies will effectively have control over your medical treatments, impacting on your physical and mental health, and putting extra strain on your family and finances. The scheme’s architecture has loopholes, multinational companies will be allowed manipulate your information because they can profit from it. Corporate criminals are taking advantage you, the hard working Australian’s when your at most vulnerable. Now ask yourself, how much more of this information don’t you know about? We’re here to tell you a story.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Help us spread the word! The Scheme Project is a documentary film project created to uncover the hidden flaws of the WorkCover system, reveal corrupt behaviour targeted towards injured workers, and expose the truth behind the conspiracy. You signing this petition brings us one step closer to promoting change. But you can take it a step further and pledge to production funding as a sponsor at: pozible.com/scheme. We are completely starting from scratch here after 2 years of research, we need as much help as possible! If you can't afford it, send us an idea, or share and like our social media pages below!
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THE CURRENT ISSUES
SUICIDE & DEPRESSION CAUSED BY THE SYSTEM
Contrary to popular belief , there is a suicide rate connected with the WorkCover scheme. Investigations from the Urban Ministry Network looked into reports from the Victorian Coronial from 1989 to 2000 which reported that work factors contributed to suicide in 109 cases. Methodological limitations of the study suggested that this was an under-estimation. Today - The Scheme Project believes this number has increased. We are working with our sources to bring hard evidence to this factor as it has never once been disclosed by WorkSafe of any other agency in Australia at any time. In most cases the stress, depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts caused by bullying tactics that the industry promotes leads to creating an escalating psychological bill in the billions of dollars
SURVEILLANCE & PRIVACY BREACHES:
Surveillance adds to the confronting nature of the scheme, Slater and Gordon lawyer Craig Sidebottom said the WorkSafe surveillance bill was "extremely alarming". "It's extraordinary that they could waste $14 million a year on snooping and spying. I think WorkSafe are probably spying on more people in Victoria than ASIO," he said. As well as confronting privacy concerns with spying, WorkSafe’s agents maintain injured workers’ confidential medical information. Owing to the sensitivity of such information it is incumbent upon them to ensure that any risk of its inappropriate release is minimised. Privacy breaches have occurred at all WorkSafe agents. Mismanagement of workers’ files has led to medical reports and other information being sent to third parties in error.
SECONDARY INJURIES CAUSE BY THE SYSTEM:
Australia's injured at work deal with a system that frequently creates secondary problems and complications caused by delays and denies. The experience of dealing with a workplace injury claim proves to be a confusing, confronting and toxic process that is detrimental to the health of the hard working Australian. The amount of secondary injuries that many long-term injured workers develop after being processed by the system is something that should be addressed as a national issue. And the lost productivity, future earning capacity and taxpayer funded pension support to look after the people that can't return to work is an un-needed financial blow to the Australian taxpayer.
DELAYS AND DENIES
Delays in payment are a common source of complaint by injured workers and service providers, such as medical practitioners, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. Victorian Ombudsman investigations has uncovered instances where poor record keeping has led directly to these delays. Delays in payments cause considerable financial hardship to injured workers. The most concerning example details an instance where poor record keeping delayed a payment of over $20,000 owed to an injured worker by their agent. Delays in payments to service providers can cause service providers to discontinue treatment for injured workers until payments owed by the agents have been received. This delays an injured worker’s return to work. In some instances, accounts had been submitted on numerous occasions but had gone missing and not been paid. Such delays harm injured workers, adversely affect service providers and damage the reputation of the WorkSafe scheme. Poor record keeping makes for poor or delayed decision making. Many such examples resulted in detriment to injured workers.
We've all heard the sensationalist news reports, however the true statistics behind injured workers are alarming; less than 0.5% of injured workers are the 'fraudsters' you see on TV, yet most injured workers are spied on by private detectives, particularly those with serious injuries that cost more money. They’re made out to be guilty until proven innocent, recently costing taxpayers $14 million in Victoria alone per annum. The ‘compensation culture’ in Australia has been perpetuated by sensationalist media programs that portray innocent people injured at work as ‘WorkCover scammers’. The ‘classic’ WorkCover scammer is very rare
REFERENCES: Information for this piece was sourced from the following:
- Leader of the Opposition
- South Australian Premier
The Hon Jay Weatherill, MP
- Victorian Premier
The Hon Ted Baillieu, MP
- NSW Premier
The Hon Barry O'Farrell, MP
- WorkCover SA
- CEO WorkCover NSW
- CEO WorkSafe Victoria
- Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
The WorkCover system is in a state of turmoil. It needs to be significantly and urgently reviewed and restructured in parliament. The behaviour from insurance companies can only be described as a legal bureaucratic form of medical dictatorship, and the interactions between insurers and injured workers are ending Australian lives in a brutal way. The power given to these multinational companies is tormenting and destroying innocent Australian families by loopholes and technicalities. "Independent" medical exams are bias. Injured workers treating medical practitioners find it extremely difficult to deal with insurers who constantly use delay and deny tactics to reduce their liability. Injuries, death and chaos have become lucrative industries in Australia and are very profitable. We are all aware of the current issues in this system highlighted in The Scheme Project's website and petition at change.org.
We call on the Federal Government of Australia to take action. Reform the WorkCover system nationwide to ensure the health and protection of decent hard working Australians when they are at their most vulnerable. Stop the insurance companies from bullying behaviour directed at injured workers.
We believe in the equal and inherent value of human life. It is of our opinion that Australia's Workers compensation scheme is based around inhumane bullying and corporate profits. The workcover system has a moral obligation to be ethically upstanding in it's delivery, this by no means is a priority of the system at present.
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