Green Party MP Kevin HagueThursday 13 September 2012, 4:26PM
Media release from Green Party MP Kevin Hague
Evidence that ACC is paying some medical specialists up to half a
million dollars a year, an average of up to $1666 each client,
reveals huge doubts about the independence of some of the
corporation's favourite doctors, the Green Party said today.
"I have documents showing ACC paid some of its top specialists up
to $500,000 a year for between 300 and 500 clients," Green
Party ACC spokesperson Kevin Hague said.
"The enormous volume of work and the huge fees paid to these
specialists suggest they have been well and truly wrapped up in
ACC's processes for delivering its goal to 'target the low hanging
fruit' - the people with long term injuries.
"It would be totally unacceptable if the corporation was using
doctors it can rely on to deliver assessments that meet that
"ACC has a well-established and clear goal of exiting people from
the scheme and it is crucial that medical assessments are seen to
be truly independent.
"It seems little has changed since Judge Trapski's damning 1994
report that found, in the case of one favoured ACC specialist, that
he'd been used over the years as ACC's "hit man."
"Trapski warned then that ACC's medical assessors need to not only
function as independent specialists but must be seen to be
"Favouring a select group of specialists whose medical opinions
appear to favour ACC's agenda is not being seen to be
"The huge fees paid to these assessors, combined with the
extremely high rate that ACC's decisions on long term claimants are
overturned at review, reveals real concerns about the fairness of
"The ACC Minister must urgently enquire into the appointment of
these specialists, and instruct her new board to devise a way to
appoint truly independent assessors.
"In answer to my questions in the House today the Minister seems
to share our concerns and be determined to actually achieve
"An option would be to bulk fund DHBs to provide a rolling roster
of specialists to provide ACC assessments in their region, or
contract with professional colleges to ensure the assessments are
independent," Mr Hague said.
Data received through OIA on the payments made and workloads of
For more information:
Kevin Hague MP, 027 291 7628
Kena Duignan, Political & Media Advisor, 04 817 6767, 020 040
Authorised by Kevin Hague, Parliament Buildings, Wellington