ADVICE TO WINZ BENEFICIARIES FACING MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS AND WORK ABILITY ASSESSMENTS


ADVICE TO APPLICANTS / BENEFICIARIES FACING MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS AND WORK ABILITY ASSESSMENTS BY WINZ COMMISSIONED ‘DESIGNATED DOCTORS’ AND OTHER ‘ASSESSORS’

 

A). CLIENTS/APPLICANTS ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO DO THE FOLLOWING:

 

1). When facing a medical examination under section 40C or section 88E (4) and (5) of the Social Security Act 1964 – as part of an application for, or a review of, a Supported Living Payment or Jobseeker Support (deferred) benefit, clients/applicants should tell the Work and Income (WINZ) case manager that they wish to be examined and assessed by a medical practitioner or psychologist of THEIR choice! It has to be a medical practitioner or psychologist they do not usually see. So it would pay to look around for one that has a sound, trustworthy reputation for being independent and objective. ONLY when a case manager does with good reason reject a chosen medical practitioner or psychologist picked by a client/applicant, can she/he then tell a person whom to see, which should usually still at least allow a “pick” from a list (which is what they mostly offer, without even considering a client’s/applicant’s preference)! Regrettably in at least some cases, WINZ case managers have been known to simply tell a client or applicant, whom to see – or to restrict their choice to take a pick from a very short list, which may actually consist of only practitioners and/or psychologists they prefer (i.e. “designated doctors”). This though doesn’t sufficiently meet the legal provisions, as it overly restricts the choice and option the law allows for reasonably finding an agreement.

“Agreement” must first honestly and reasonably be attempted between a case manager and client/applicant, before a WINZ case manager can object to a client’s/applicant’s choice and expect the affected person to see a medical practitioner or psychologist proposed by WINZ!

 

2).  In selecting a medical practitioner or psychologist under those parts of the Act, a client/applicant should at least try to express the expectation that a professional medical examiner or assessor must have the appropriate, sufficient expertise and qualifications in the areas of health the client/applicant suffers from! This is not clarified sufficiently by the law as it stands, but some would suggest, the law implies that a reasonable effort must be made by WINZ case managers and other staff involved, achieving the best and most appropriate match of medical practitioner/psychologist to the conditions and disabilities a client/applicant suffers from.

Over many years, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and WINZ have been referring clients/applicants almost exclusively to general practitioners (GPs – their “designated doctors”), but one must fairly ask how appropriately and sufficiently qualified are general practitioners to professionally and competently assess for instance mental health sufferers, persons with addiction illnesses, or those with very complex physical, psychiatric or psychological conditions? Without possessing further (post graduate) qualifications in those areas, it is doubtful, or at least uncertain, that many GPs have the needed expertise to make a profound diagnosis in such cases.

This is an area needing further clarification, so by making decisive attempts to get their rights and expectations best met, clients/applicants should be very mindful of their particular needs and what a fair application of the law should mean in their case. It should therefore at least be attempted to raise the expectation to be examined and assessed by the most appropriate, most competent, suitably qualified medical or health professional!

 

3). When going to a medical examination/assessment by a WINZ appointed (agreed or not agreed) medical practitioner/psychologist, a client/applicant should make every effort to go WITH A TRUSTED SUPPORT PERSON! A doctor/psychologist can object to this, but then it should be negotiated with him/her, and also ideally with WINZ, whether a chosen support person should be accepted or not. Certainly any applicant/client affected has a right to be supported, so if one support person is rejected, a reasonable alternative must be accepted. It is advised to better inform the medical professional beforehand of a support person that will come along. But even if that is not done, the professional must give a reasonable, good reason to object having a support person attend.

The support person may be a friend, a relative, an advocate, a caregiver or whosoever, but having a witness, who may ideally also take notes, that will ensure that a doctor or other health professional will not be misguided, or tempted to make any wrong or biased decisions. Medical practitioners and psychologists will be prompted to act more carefully, be diligent, thorough and listen to the client/applicant and conduct a more professional, evidence based, fair and reasonable examination and following assessment. It is under the law also permitted to make an audio recording of a conversation between the assessor and the assessed. A party to any conversation is allowed to record such conversations, and while the recording person should ideally forewarn the other party, this is not necessarily an obligation. Having such a recording will make it easier to prepare for any further reviews or appeals that may be necessary, should an examination and assessment result in reports and recommendations that are not acceptable. Under certain conditions any recordings may themselves be used as evidence.

 

4).  A Work and Income client, or partner/spouse of such, in receipt of a Jobseeker Support, Supported Living Payment, Sole Parent Support or Emergency benefit can at any given time be required to undergo a so-called ‘Work Ability Assessment’ and also re-assessments (see sections 100B and 100C). This does not apply to Supported Living beneficiaries who are by WINZ considered to be terminally ill or unable to work, due to their conditions deteriorating or not improving. Apart from them, virtually ALL working age persons on benefits can be asked to see one of WINZ’s new, outsourced, private, supposedly “independent” Work Ability Assessors. According to section 100B (4), the Chief Executive or authorised WINZ staff can determine the procedure according to which such an assessment is conducted. There is sadly a heck of a lot of discretion given to WINZ staff re how they use and apply these assessments and their results.

In any case, due to these assessments being a new measure and “service” WINZ use, and due to the lack of information on how such assessments have so far been used and applied, it is most strongly recommended, to only undergo such with a trusted support person, who can serve also as a witness and preferably take notes. Information so far obtained reveals that the providers of such assessments are largely health professionals working in rehabilitation, with various kinds of qualifications (though mostly in physiotherapy and the likes). It pays to ask for and note down their names and qualifications, and to keep detailed notes about what is asked and discussed. I would also strongly recommend audio taping conversations, with or without the consent of the health professionals a person deals with. Naturally copies of records that are prepared, and will be sent to WINZ, should be requested, either from the assessing service, or from WINZ themselves, which can be done under the Privacy Act 1993. Given the new, somewhat draconian provisions, and the unacceptable level of discretion that WINZ and MSD have been given under the amended Act, there appears to be little in the way of input a client undergoing such assessments has, in whom they see for this. But knowing one’s own health conditions and disability, it will be of absolute importance to every affected, to clearly and strongly present and point out any sickness, impairment and disability they have, to at least try and pre-empt or mitigate any potentially unacceptable recommendations that may come from the assessors. Also should it be reasonably expected that WINZ staff only send clients/applicants to health and disability professionals that possess the type of medical or rehabilitation qualification that is needed to fully understand a person’s conditions, and to competently and professionally assess a person’s ability to do any form of work – or not. If a client/applicant feels the assessor was not appropriately qualified and experienced, this should be raised with Work and Income staff.

 

5). When facing a Medical Board (formerly known as ‘Medical Appeal Board’, see section 10B of the Act) for having an appeal against a decision heard, which was based on a recommendation to WINZ by a “designated doctor” or contracted “work ability assessor”, the possible input into who may be appointed to the 3 member panel is not so great. But when presented with details of the panel, a client/applicant should seriously think again: Is there medical and/or health personnel on the panel that is expert and qualified enough in the areas of ill health and disability that I suffer from? Do I feel the members are all competent, with the appropriate and sufficient skills and qualifications needed to re-assess my health situation and ability to work or not? If in doubt, this should be raised with M.S.D.’s Medical Appeals Coordinator. If you do for instance suffer from psychiatric or psychological conditions causing disability, you should insist on at least one panel member being a qualified psychologist, or a GP with additional qualifications in psychology or as a psychiatrist. A Medical Board’s decision is deemed to be FINAL, and only where there are valid questions of law re the way a hearing was conducted, and a decision formed, can a client seek a judicial review of a Medical Board decision before the High Court.

Appeals to a Medical Board can also be made where a client/applicant does not agree with a decision made by a WINZ staff member according to provisions under sections 60Q, 88F, 88H, 88I, 100B and 116C (2) of the Social Security Act, where certain obligations have been, or are going to be placed on the affected person, that may be considered as inappropriate or unreasonable due to her/his own health conditions and/or ability to prepare for, discuss or perform work, training or other specified activities. Some of the provisions also apply to partners/spouses of sick/disabled beneficiaries.

In any case, if there are any serious problems arising from taking these precautions and having such requests considered and met, then it will certainly pay to consult a beneficiary advocate. But sections 40C (2) and (3), 88E (4) and (5), and other new provisions in the Act should be sufficiently clear.

 

Concluding comments on the above advice

 

Sadly most clients/applicants do not always consider all aspects, and do not prepare themselves enough re all the important questions, and the possible harmful, negative consequences they may be faced with if things turn out badly. Taking the above precautions can protect from much wrongdoing, disappointment and suffering down the line, and thus ensure a fairer treatment by medical practitioners, other health professionals and consequently also WINZ staff.

 

What should in this context be of great concern to all affected, is also the fact, that since 2008 the “designated doctors” used by Work and Income and M.S.D. have been TRAINED by the Ministry, which happened under the directions and management of the since 2007 employed Principal Health Advisor, Dr David Bratt (a registered GP). This is also widely not know, and as the experience with assessments conducted in some ACC and WINZ cases have shown, it pays to be very alert and cautious about medical examinations conducted by such designated doctors – and any other assessors that Work and Income and M.S.D. choose and commission!

 

Some Links to general official information on the major welfare reforms in 2013:

 

Information on the MSD website, about the reforms that took effect in July 2013:

 

‘Welfare Reform: changes in July 2013’

http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/work-programmes/welfare-reform/july-2013/

 

Information on the Work and Income website, also about the changes that took affect in July 2013:

“Benefit changes – how they affect you”

http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/benefit-changes/

 

 

B). Designated Doctors, the increasing use of “assessors” for “assessments”, and some crucial information on what is behind the “welfare reforms”

 

MSD and Work and Income rely on about 290 ‘designated doctors’ for “second opinions” and “medical examinations” – more often now in attempts to get people shifted off the Supported Living Payment benefit (formerly the Invalid’s Benefit) onto the Jobseeker Support benefit. Former Sickness Benefit recipients were together with some on the former Domestic Purpose Benefit recipients and ordinary unemployed beneficiaries all transferred onto the new Jobseeker Support benefit. Many on health and disability related benefits will over time be re-assessed for work capacity, and may from case to case be only temporarily deferred from work test obligations for health reasons, until they will be fit for suitable work, while now being categorised as Jobseekers.

For the consultation phase and the implementation of these major reforms, the Ministry of Social Development set up a special panel:
“An expert Health and Disability panel has been established to provide advice on ways to strengthen employment assessments and services for people who are sick or disabled.”

The above is a quote from the MSD website! The members on that “advisory panel” had been meeting with, and were advised and apparently convinced by Professor Mansel Aylward, former Chief Medical Officer of DWP (the Department for Work and Pensions) in the UK, who was also himself involved in development of highly controversial, so-called work capacity assessments there, which the contracted assessor ATOS used. Also has Dame C. Black, (another strong supporter of Aylward, and proponent of the “health benefits of work” for sick and disabled) met with and advised that panel. That MSD appointed panel was instrumental in and determined to get NZ beneficiaries with health conditions firmly ushered into “suitable” open employment.

 

See the real agenda that was followed, released (with wiped out parts in it) as Cabinet Papers to the media and public (papers A, B and C – the last one are probably the most important one):

http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/newsroom/media-releases/2013/wr-cab-paper-a-overview.pdf

http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/newsroom/media-releases/2013/wr-cab-paper-b-design.pdf

http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/newsroom/media-releases/2013/wr-cab-paper-c-health-and-disability.pdf

 

More information can be found here:

http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/work-programmes/welfare-reform/cab-papers-and-ris/index.html

 

Hardline Professor Mansel Aylward from the UK (former Chief Medical Officer at the DWP) did in June 2013 again speak to at least one national GP conference here in New Zealand (Rotorua and/or Wellington). Doctors were being prepared to tighten up with their issuing of work capacity medical certificates – by not signing people off as unable to work too quickly and leniently.

 

He spoke on:

“Health Beyond Health: Another Cardinal Role for General Practice
The holistic approach embracing the social determinants of health and the importance of work”

(Main Session, Friday, 21 June 2013, Start 09:25am, Duration: 25mins – Baytrust)

Like every year, Dr David Bratt (WINZ Principal Health Advisor) did also speak and/or hold one of his now well known bizarre, selective information using “presentations” there, again comparing “benefit dependence” to “drug dependence”.

Remember these ones:
Ready, Steady, Crook – Are we killing our patients with kindness
http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/GP%20CME/Friday/C1%201515%20Bratt-Hawker.pdf
(see pages 13, 20, 21 and 35)

Medical Certificates are Clinical Instruments Too!
http://www.gpcme.co.nz/pdf/2012/Fri_DaVinci_1400_Bratt_Medical%20Certificates%20are%20Clinical%20Instruments%20too%20-%20June%202012.pdf
(see especially pages 3, 16 and 33)

Professor Mansel Aylward also met with Paula Bennett, Minister for Social Welfare, in 2012, and she appeared keen on bringing in work ability testing along the ATOS Healthcare and DWP lines here in New Zealand:

 

‘Speech to Medical Professionals’, 26 Sept. 2012
http://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/speech-medical-professionals

 

Doctors are being told to look rather at what patients and WINZ clients with sickness, injury and disabilities can do, rather than what they cannot do. This is a game-changer, and it makes it extremely more difficult for sick and disabled to qualify for a benefit on health grounds. An expectation to work and/or train comes before entitlement to a benefit, and besides of the usual medical certificates (already called ‘Work Capacity Medical Certificates’) people are increasingly faced with not only “self assessments”, but extra interviews by Work and Income staff to discuss “hurdles” and options to return to work, same as they are as a last resort expected to undergo extra, supposedly “independent” assessments on work ability. The latter are outsourced new measures, but WINZ also continue to use “designated doctors” for at least the time being.

There are also already contracted providers delivering “job referral” and specialist “employment services” in use, for referring mentally ill target groups into open employment. It is a relentless agenda; yes the implementation of the most radical reforms in this particular area in decades. The mainstream media have reported nothing much really – on the very major changes for sick, disabled and incapacitated.

 

See attached also some PDF files with the following:

wr-cab-paper-a-overview

wr-cab-paper-b-design

wr-cab-paper-c-health-and-disability

 

Earlier controversial welfare reforms and their impact in the UK

 

We know by now, who can tells us more honestly about what has really been going on under supposed “independent” assessors of sick and disabled in the UK:

A link to the Black Triangle Campaign website, with Mo Stewart’s report “The Hidden Agenda”:
http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2013/04/18/welfare-reform-the-hidden-agenda-by-mo-stewart/
Just one further revealing statement or article on the bizarre work capacity assessment regime now common in the UK, and according to Paula Bennett also planned as the design framework to what WINZ will introduce here:

http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/09/18/dwpatosunum-scandal-an-academic-responds-with-disbelief-to-professor-aylwards-statement-to-black-triangle-and-dpac-outside-the-ifdm2012-conference-on-11th-september-2012/

 

See also these articles in the Guardian, about welfare reforms in the UK:

‘Welfare reform minister: claimants ‘have a lifestyle’ on the state’, the Guardian, 22 Nov. 2012
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/nov/22/benefits-system-dreadful-tory-minister
‘Lord Freud on welfare: making the poor pay for the risk-taking of the rich’, the Guardian, 23 Nov. 12
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/nov/23/lord-freud-welfare-poor-risk

 

And via the following links some more info can be found on Professor Mansel Aylward, the “wayward” medical expert from the ‘Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research’, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Wales, UK, an extreme proponent of the almost ideological new “work will make you healthy” (and set you free) philosophy, based on a perverted interpretation of the “bio-psycho social model” for health and disability diagnosis and treatment:

http://www.gpcme.co.nz/speakers/aylward_2013.php

‘Worklessness and Health: A Symposium’, one of the “presentations” used by Aylward:
http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_210440_en.pdf

‘Private firms’ role in creation of disability assessment regime’, the Guardian, 12 Sept. 2012:
http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/sep/12/private-firms-disability-assessment-regime

‘The Hidden Agenda’, by Mo Stewart:
http://100greatestbootlegs.blogspot.co.nz/2013/04/austerity-kills.html

‘Benefits and Work’, blog, UK:
http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/forum?view=topic&catid=10&id=97090

‘Where’s the benefit?’, blog, UK:
http://wheresthebenefit.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/models-of-disability.html

 

Closing comments on ‘Designated Doctors and welfare reforms’

 

As there have in the past been some quite bizarre, apparently rather biased recommendations made by “designated doctors” (who are almost exclusively GPs), and as the same apparent bias has applied to recommendations by Regional Health Advisors and Regional Disability Advisors, these news above must be of utmost concern to all affected. An increase of medical examinations – and additional, separate work capacity assessments – are taking place, and the drive will clearly be to use virtual “hatchet doctors” and MSD trained assessors to “cull” clients off the benefits, and to send them to outsourced special employment referral services, who will get paid rewarding fees for every referral made to employers.

 

C). Further advice on the law and system changes from 15 July 2013

 

Following the passing of the ‘Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act 2013’ substantial changes to the ‘Social Security Act 1964′ took effect, affecting most, if not all social welfare beneficiaries in New Zealand. See Work and Income’s website for some initial information what changes have taken place, and how they will affect new applicants and existing recipients of benefits: http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/benefit-changes/

Although Work and Income and the Ministry of Social Development presented the changes in a rather “calming” fashion, some changes are fundamental, very severe and draconian, bringing not only new categories of benefits, but also increased obligations, expectations and use of sanctions for non compliance with them.

The earlier information in this comprehensive post has only just touched on the legal changes to the Social Security Act 1964. This post is primarily concerned with medical examinations and work ability assessments, and how WINZ uses designated doctors, and now also supposedly “independent” assessors (in cooperation with internal Regional Health and Disability Advisors in WINZ Regional Offices).

WINZ will still be using their designated doctors, to conduct medical examinations, should the usual doctor or specialist of a client not deliver sufficiently clear information on a client’s health condition and incapacity to work, or should that doctor feel the client/patient would better be seen by another doctor or specialist.

Yet with the new regime it can be expected that the already existing involvement of Regional Health Advisors and Regional Disability Advisors will also be increased, to provide additional or separate recommendations on beneficiaries’ health and inability to work. The new amendments to the Act provide for more work capacity assessments, and for them not being limited to medical aspects only, but to consider further aspects as to whether a client may be able to do some forms of work or training, despite of suffering ill health, an injury, impairment, that results in forms of disability.

Hence extreme caution is advised in regards to how to approach any medical examinations by even your own doctor/specialist, and most certainly so by a designated doctor, usually suggested and expected by WINZ for “examinations” or “second opinions”. As the new law changes have brought in provisions allowing the Ministry of Social Development and their main department Work and Income to OUTSOURCE services, similar arrangements have been made here in New Zealand, to use contracted outside “assessors” to establish a person’s “work ability”. While a range of providers appear to have been contracted for that purpose, the approach does resemble the one used in the United Kingdom, where for many years now the ‘Department for Work and Pensions’ have relied on highly controversial assessors ‘ATOS Healthcare’ for performing medical and work capacity assessments. Paula Bennett has as Minister commented that they want to ensure mistakes made in the UK will be avoided here, but I leave it to the reader(s) to judge how much you wish to rely on and trust her words.

The new legal provisions for the usual, standard medical examinations here in New Zealand appear not to have changed all that much, but they are covered in new sections and subsections of the Social Security Act. More detail on this will be presented a bit furter down in this post.

 

The following links to media and other publications show though, where the “journey” is heading:
Media reports on what was proposed and has since been introduced in New Zealand:

“Govt will pay to shift mentally ill into work”, NZ Herald, 30 June 2013:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10893823
The Ministry of Social Development, the Minister, the Associate Minister and government as a whole, had kept incredibly SILENT on this, and the media did otherwise not report more on these plans by MSD and WINZ. It appears that someone made this information available to the newspaper, and this was not what had been planned or expected.

 

The following links show further information about what was all along planned to be introduced in New Zealand:

‘New Zealand: ‘British-style work tests concern’ ~ tests were developed by disability ‘expert’ Prof. Sir Mansel Aylward’, Black Triangle Campaign, website, 11 Jan. 2013:
http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/?s=Mansel+Aylward&x=0&y=0

‘CCS Disability Action’ expressed concern, 14 Jan. 2013:
http://www.ccsdisabilityaction.org.nz/news/687-proposed-work-tests-are-concerning
Some of the willing already prepared “facilitators” here in New Zealand:

‘Evidence-based supported employment’, website of Te Pou, The Wise Group:
http://www.tepou.co.nz/improving-services/ebse

Evidence-based supported employment, “People who experience a mental illness want to work and can work”, Workwise, the Wise Group:
http://www.workwise.org.nz/about-us/EBSE

The Wise Group, “The Wise Family”:
http://www.wisegroup.co.nz/who-we-are/the-wise-family

 

So while the above is only showing efforts being made for mentally ill, you can rest assured the same has been, or will be prepared – for persons suffering incapacity due to musculo-sceletal and other conditions. A number of providers have already been contracted to “assist” people into work.

See these links for details:
https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-a-revealing-fact-study-part-a/

https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-a-revealing-fact-study-part-d/

 

Own further comments

 

Rest assured also that the ones like Professor Sir Mansel Aylward from Cambridge University (and his Unum financed “specialist department” that developed a perverted interpretation of the “bio psycho-social model”), same as Dr David Bratt, WINZ Principal Health Advisor, and others are behind this, and we know, that they believe that up to two thirds of “illnesses” sick an disabled suffer from are “not diagnosable” by finding clear physical proof, and according to them must rather be seen as merely “illness belief” cases.

A worrisome development, and New Zealand once again serving as a laboratory for social and other “experiments”, I fear.

I am not opposed to offer true, honest, fair and reasonable support and treatment for those sick and disabled (also due to injury), who wish to and can return to some forms of work, but with the information at hand, and the way the welfare reforms were pushed through, ignoring all concerns and objections by those affected, their advocates and families, I fear that such fairness and reasonableness will not be applied.

 

D). The newly amended Social Security Act 1964 and important new provisions

 

Here is a link to the current version of the reprinted Social Security Act 1964 (as at 07 July 2014):

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/DLM359107.html#DLM5487422

 

It does now contain all amendments that came into force with the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act 2013 as of 15 July 2013!
There are now different, and much higher work capability and work readiness expectations, and it is now at the discretion of the Chief Executive (that means virtually ANY authorised staff member of MSD or Work and Income – whom a client may have contact with or not), to determine whether a person receiving any benefit, or applying for one, can be work tested, can be assessed for work capability, and who can be expected to discuss work preparation, training, treatment or other measures with!

 

These following sections on work ability assessments make this very clear:

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/DLM5478810.html

 

Extract:

 

100B Chief executive may require person to undergo assessment

(1) This subsection applies to a person who is, or who is the spouse or partner of, a beneficiary in receipt of—

(a) sole parent support; or

(b )a supported living payment (except as provided in subsection (2)); or

(c ) an emergency benefit; or

(d) jobseeker support.

(2) Subsection (1)(b ) does not apply to a person receiving a supported living payment on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability if, in the chief executive’s opinion,—

(a) the person is terminally ill; or

(b ) the person has little or no capacity for work, and the person’s condition is deteriorating or not likely to improve.

(3) The chief executive may at any time require a person to whom subsection (1) applies to attend and participate in a work ability assessment made to determine, or help to determine, all or any of the following matters:

(a) whether the person is entitled to a benefit and, if so, what kind of benefit:

(b ) if the person is in receipt of jobseeker support (other than jobseeker support granted on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability), whether the person is entitled on an application under section 88H, or under section 88I(4), to a deferral of work test obligations under section 88I:

(c ) if the person is in receipt of jobseeker support granted on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability, whether the person has for the purposes of section 88F(2) the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work:

(d) whether the person is entitled on an application under section 105 on the ground of limited capacity to meet those obligations to an exemption from work test obligations or work preparation obligations under section 60Q:

(e) whether the person, being a person who is subject to work test obligations or work preparation obligations under section 60Q, has the capacity to meet those obligations:

(f) what is suitable employment for the person for the purposes of section 102A(1)(a), (b ), or (c ):

(g) what are suitable activities for the person for the purposes of section 60Q(3) or 102A(1)(f):

(h) what assistance and supports the person needs to obtain employment.
(4) An assessment under subsection (3) must be undertaken in accordance with a procedure determined by the chief executive.

(5) After an assessment under subsection (3) is made, the chief executive may determine the matter or matters in subsection (3) for which that assessment was made—

(a) in reliance on that assessment; or

(b ) having regard to the assessment and to any alternative assessment under subsection (3).

 

Section 100B: inserted, on 15 July 2013, by section 44 of the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 13).

 

See also this important section covering the ‘Application of work test’:

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/DLM365290.html

 

Extract:

 

102 Application of work test

(1) The work test applies to a person while he or she is a work-tested beneficiary, and unless subsection (2) applies, the person is subject to the obligations of the work test set out in section 102A from,—

(a) in the case of a person granted jobseeker support on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability, the date specified in the chief executive’s notice under section 88F(4); and

(b ) in any other case, the date on which the work-tested benefit is first paid.

(2) The work test does not apply to a work-tested beneficiary if the chief executive is satisfied that the beneficiary is undertaking employment of the kind required to satisfy the work test for that beneficiary.

(3) A work test obligation set out in section 102A applies on—

(a) a day that is a day between Monday and Friday (inclusive); or

(b ) a day of the week on which regulations under this Act provide (in relation to the obligation, obligations that include it, or all obligations) that it applies.

 

See this other important section on work test obligations:

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/DLM365297.html

 

Extract:

 

102A Work test obligations

(1) The work test obligations are—

(a) to be available for, and take reasonable steps to obtain, suitable employment; and

(b ) to accept any offer of suitable employment, including temporary employment or employment that is seasonal or subsidised; and

(c ) to attend and participate in an interview for any opportunity of suitable employment to which the beneficiary is referred by the chief executive; and

(d) when required by the chief executive, to attend and participate in any interview with an officer of the department or other person on behalf of the chief executive; and

(e) when required by the chief executive, to undertake planning for employment; and

(f) when required by the chief executive, to participate in or, as the case requires, undertake any of the following activities that the chief executive considers suitable for the beneficiary to improve the beneficiary’s work-readiness or prospects for employment:

(i) any work assessment specified by the chief executive:

(ii) any programme or seminar specified by the chief executive to increase particular skills or enhance motivation:

(iii) a work experience or work exploration activity specified by the chief executive:

(iv) employment-related training specified by the chief executive:

(v) any other activity specified by the chief executive (including rehabilitation but not medical treatment); and

(g) to report to the department on his or her compliance with his or her work test obligations as often, and in the manner, as the chief executive from time to time reasonably requires.

(h) [Repealed]

(1A) The drug testing obligations under section 102B(1) are included in, and form part of, each of the work test obligations under subsection (1)(a), ©, and (f)(ii) and (iv) (each of which obligations is extended, and not limited, by this subsection).

(2) Subsection (1)(f) applies whether or not a beneficiary is subject to a sanction for failing to comply with the work test.

(3) A person cannot be required under subsection (1) to undertake activity in the community.

(4) [Repealed]

(5) If the chief executive requires a beneficiary to undertake an activity under subsection (1)(f), the chief executive must take reasonable steps to arrange for the beneficiary to undertake that activity.

 

And this section on various obligations is also very important:

 

60Q Certain obligations may be placed on beneficiaries and their spouses and partners

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/DLM362513.html

 

Extract:

 

This section applies to every person (other than a person who is a work-tested beneficiary or is for the time being exempted under section 105) who—

(a) is the recipient of a benefit under section 20D (sole parent support) and has a youngest dependent child under the age of 5 years; or

(b ) [Repealed]

(ba) is a sole parent with a dependent child under the age of 1 year, and is a recipient of a benefit under section 88B (jobseeker support) instead of a benefit under section 20D (sole parent support) solely because that child is an additional dependent child (within the meaning of section 60GAE(1)); or

(bb) is the recipient of a benefit under section 40B (supported living payment on the ground of sickness, injury, disability, or total blindness) if the chief executive is satisfied that the person has the capacity to comply with obligations under subsection (3); or

(bc) is the recipient of a benefit under section 40D (supported living payment on the ground of caring for patient requiring care) if the chief executive is satisfied that the person has the capacity to comply with requirements under subsection (3); or

(c ) is the spouse or partner of a person who—

(i) is the recipient of an emergency benefit, a supported living payment, or jobseeker support; and

(ii) has a youngest dependent child aged under 5 years.

(1A) This section also applies (despite subsection (1)) to a person who—

(a) is a work-tested beneficiary (other than one to whom subsection (1)(ba) applies); and

(b ) has been granted under section 88I a deferral of the person’s work test obligations.

(1B) The chief executive may require a recipient of a benefit under section 40B or 40D to attend and participate in an interview with an officer of the department, or other person on behalf of the chief executive, for the purpose of helping the chief executive to determine under subsection (1)(bb) or (bc) whether the recipient has the capacity to comply with obligations under subsection (3).

(2) A person to whom this section applies (other than a person to whom subsection (1)(bb) or (bc) applies) has a general obligation to take all steps that are reasonably practicable in his or her particular circumstances to prepare for employment and (in particular) an obligation to comply with any requirement under subsection (3).

(3) The chief executive may, from time to time, require a person to whom this section applies (including, without limitation, a person to whom subsection (1)(bb) or (bc) applies)—

(a) to undertake planning for employment:

(aa) to attend and participate in an interview (other than one for the purpose specified in subsection (1B)) with an officer of the department or other person on behalf of the chief executive:

(ab) to report to the department or to any other person acting on behalf of the chief executive on the person’s compliance with the person’s obligations under this section as often as, and in the manner that, the chief executive reasonably requires:

(b ) to participate in or undertake (as the case requires) any of the following activities specified by the chief executive that the chief executive considers suitable to improve his or her work-readiness or prospects for employment:

(i) a work assessment:

(ii) a programme or seminar to increase particular skills or enhance motivation:

(iii) a work-experience or work-exploration activity:

(iv) employment-related training:

(v) an education programme:

(vi) any other activity (including rehabilitation) other than medical treatment, voluntary work, or activity in the community.

 

OWN OFFERED ADVICE RE THE ABOVE:

 

To avoid any doubt, if the ‘Chief Executive’ does “reasonably”, based on available information, consider that a person in receipt of a benefit can do some work, or prepare for this, any of the mentioned measures can be taken, and if the client refuses or does not co-operate, a cut or total stop of a client’s benefit will be likely! The ‘Chief Executive’ can mean a normal, authorised WINZ case manager. Such a case manager may rely on evidence before her/him, or on additional “advice” – or a recommendation – by a Regional Health Advisor or Regional Disability Advisor, working in one of MSD’s Regional Offices. Such an authorised ordinary case manager may also rely on a designated doctor recommendation instead of, or additional to one’s own doctor’s medical assessment, PLUS on other information, some of which has not been much specified by the Ministry, when making a decision on whether a WINZ client has to undergo a medical examination, a work ability assessment and/or meet other stated obligations.

The use of designated doctors and contracted assessors, who are paid by WINZ and have to follow certain procedures, “guidelines” and criteria set by MSD and WINZ, has in the past raised questions about “independence” and objectivity.

So with all the much stricter, tighter criteria, and work capability not just being determined on medical certificates alone anymore, very many who suffer disabilities or longer term, serious illness, and who are incapacitated, will in future be considered capable of doing some forms of work. The emphasis is now to have even doctors and rehab professionals look first and foremost at what sick and disabled persons can do, rather than what they cannot!

Consequently medical examinations and assessments of any kind will become even more important and crucial, when you suffer from sickness, incapacity and therefore forms of disability. It will be essential to follow the above advice, to go to such examinations and assessments with doctors, or with other health professionals and/or outsourced service providers – TOGETHER WITH A TRUSTED SUPPORT PERSON WHO CAN ALSO SERVE AS A WITNESS!!! I recommend this even for important reviews and so with Work and Income case managers, if a client feels uncertain about how to deal with certain matters. If in doubt, and if serious issues arise, try and speak with a beneficiary advocate.

 

These are the new provisions for medical examinations –

 

For Jobseeker Support category applicants or recipients:

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/DLM5478532.html

 

Extract:

 

88E Jobseeker support: on ground of sickness, injury, or disability: medical examination

(1) A person making an application for jobseeker support on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability (the applicant) must include in the application a certificate that complies with subsections (2) and (3).

(2) A certificate complies with this subsection only if it is given—

(a) by a medical practitioner in respect of any condition; or

(b ) by a dentist in respect of a condition that is within the ambit of his or her profession; or

(c ) by a midwife in respect of a pregnancy, childbirth, or any related condition that is within the ambit of his or her profession; or

(d) by a health practitioner of a kind specified for the purposes of this paragraph in regulations made under section 132 and in respect of a condition within the ambit of his or her scope of practice.

(3) A certificate complies with this subsection only if it—

(a) certifies that the applicant’s capacity for work is affected by sickness, injury, or disability; and

(b ) indicates the nature of the sickness, injury, or disability concerned, the extent to which the applicant’s capacity for work is affected by it, and the length of time that effect is likely to last; and

(c ) contains any other particulars the chief executive may under this paragraph require.

(4) The chief executive may at any time require the applicant or a jobseeker support beneficiary to submit himself or herself for examination by a medical practitioner or psychologist. The medical practitioner or psychologist must be agreed for the purpose between the applicant or beneficiary and the chief executive or, failing agreement, must be nominated by the chief executive.

(5) The medical practitioner or psychologist must prepare, and must send the chief executive a copy of, a report that indicates—

(a) whether the applicant’s or beneficiary’s capacity for work is affected by sickness, injury, or disability; and

(b ) the extent to which the applicant’s or beneficiary’s capacity for work is affected by the sickness, injury, or disability concerned; and

(c ) whether, and if so, for how long, that capacity is likely to continue to be affected by the sickness, injury, or disability concerned.

 

For Supported Living Payment applicants or recipients:

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/DLM5469765.html

 

Extract:

 

40C Supported living payment: on ground of sickness, injury, disability, or total blindness: medical examination

(1) This section applies to a person who is an applicant for, or a person in receipt of, a supported living payment on the ground of sickness, injury, disability, or total blindness.

(2) The chief executive may require the applicant or beneficiary to submit himself or herself for examination by a medical practitioner or a psychologist. The medical practitioner or psychologist must be agreed for the purpose between the applicant or beneficiary and the chief executive, or, failing agreement, must be nominated by the chief executive.

(3) The medical practitioner or psychologist must certify whether, in the medical practitioner’s or psychologist’s opinion, the applicant or beneficiary is, or is not, or whether there is doubt about whether the applicant or beneficiary is or is not,—

(a) permanently and severely restricted in his or her capacity for work; or (as the case may be)

(b ) totally blind.

(4) A certificate given under this section must state the grounds upon which the opinion is founded.

(5) A certificate given under this section must, in the case of doubt referred to in subsection (3), and may, in any other case, indicate a date for review of the permanency, severity, or both, of the applicant’s or beneficiary’s sickness, injury, or disability.

 

The new provisions for Appeals to a Medical Board:

 

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/DLM5487423.html

 

Extract:

 

Appeals to medical board
Heading: inserted, on 15 July 2013, by section 62 of the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act 2013 (2013 No 13).

 

10B Right of appeal on medical grounds

(1) Any applicant or beneficiary affected may appeal to the Board against a decision of the chief executive that is—

(a) a decision that a claim for a child disability allowance is declined, or that any such allowance is cancelled, in either case on the ground that the child is not a child with a serious disability (within the meaning of section 39A(1) and (2)); or

(b ) a decision that a claim for a supported living payment on the ground of sickness, injury, disability, or total blindness is declined, or that any such benefit is cancelled, in either case on medical grounds; or

(c ) a decision under section 60Q(1)(bb) that a person in receipt of a supported living payment on the ground of sickness, injury, disability, or total blindness has the capacity to comply with obligations under section 60Q(3); or

(d) a decision under section 60Q(1)(bc) that a person in receipt of a supported living payment on the ground of caring for a patient requiring care has the capacity to comply with obligations under section 60Q(3); or

(e) a decision that a claim for jobseeker support on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability is declined on medical grounds or on grounds relating to a person’s capacity for work, or that a person’s jobseeker support on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability is cancelled on medical grounds or on grounds relating to the person’s capacity for work; or

(f) a determination under section 88F(2) that a jobseeker support beneficiary on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability has, while receiving that benefit, the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work, and so is required to comply with the work test on and after a date specified in a notice under section 88F(4); or

(g) a confirmation, amendment, revocation, or replacement under section 88F(6) of a determination, and that results in a determination of the kind specified in paragraph (f) of this subsection; or

(h) a decision on medical grounds under section 88I(2) to decline an application under section 88H(2) by a beneficiary granted jobseeker support (other than jobseeker support granted on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability) for deferral of all or any of the beneficiary’s work test obligations; or

(i) a decision on medical grounds under section 88I(7) to revoke a deferral granted under section 88I of all or any work test obligations of a beneficiary granted—

(i) jobseeker support (other than jobseeker support granted on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability); or

(ii) jobseeker support granted on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability; or

(j) any of the following made in reliance on any work ability assessment by a health practitioner under section 100B:

(i) a determination whether the person assessed is entitled to a benefit and, if so, what kind of benefit:

(ii) a determination whether the person assessed, being a person in receipt of jobseeker support (other than jobseeker support granted on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability), is entitled on an application under section 88H, or under section 88I(4), to deferral of work test obligations under section 88I:

(iii) a determination whether the person assessed, being a person in receipt of jobseeker support on the ground of sickness, injury, or disability, has for the purposes of section 88F(2) the capacity to seek, undertake, and be available for part-time work:

(iv) a determination whether the person assessed, being a person who is subject to work test obligations or work preparation obligations under section 60Q, has the capacity to meet those obligations; or

(k) a decision under section 116C(2)(a) to the effect that a beneficiary does not have a good and sufficient reason, on the ground that the beneficiary is addicted to, or dependent on, controlled drugs, for either or both:

(i) not complying with a drug testing obligation under section 102B(1):

(ii) failing to apply for suitable employment that requires candidates to undertake drug tests; or

(l) a decision to decline a claim for a veteran’s pension under section 70 of the War Pensions Act 1954, or to cancel any such pension, in either case on the ground of the applicant’s or beneficiary’s mental or physical infirmity.

(2) An appeal under this section must be made within—

(a) 3 months after the decision has been communicated to that person; or

(b ) any further period the Board may (if it considers there is good reason for the delay) allow on application made before or after the end of that 3-month period.

(3) The chief executive is bound by the Board’s decision on an appeal under this section.

(4) The Board is to comprise 3 members to be appointed by the chief executive for the particular purpose, being medical practitioners, rehabilitation professionals (as defined in subsection (5)), or other persons having appropriate expertise in the fields of vocational training or vocational support for persons with sickness, injury, or disability.

(5) Rehabilitation professional, in subsection (4), means a person who is—

(a) a person professionally engaged in the rehabilitation of persons from sickness or accident or with disabilities; or

(b ) a nurse; or

(c ) an occupational therapist; or

(d) a physiotherapist; or

(e) a psychologist.

 

SUMMARISED OWN ADVICE RE THE ABOVE:

 

It pays to be extra careful now, and I can assure any persons facing having to apply for a benefit on health and disability grounds, to get good, sound advice, to take note of what this post explains, to also look at other posts on this site, and for instance search for anything under “assessment”, “medical assessment”, “David Bratt” (the name of WiNZ’s so-called “Principal Health Advisor”), and possibly also speak to an advocate, should any major questions or issues arise!

Few will in future get exempted from work testing and work expectations, and even doctors have been advised to be firm on patients seeking Work Capacity Medical Certificates, which are now so designed to ensure anything is looked at what can enable a person to resume any kind of work a.s.a.p.! Some will surely get a wake up call, as most have not taken note of what the last and major welfare reforms have entailed.

 

 

E). A list of all Designated Doctors WINZ had on their books in August 2012

 

As their selected, trained and paid doctors do not change all that much and often, the list should more or less still be valid, without perhaps the odd exception. I will also try to attach a better presented, tidier and table format list as PDF file to this comment.

 

AUCKLAND REGION:

CLIFFORD BRIAN AH KIT, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

NEELA AHMED, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

CECIL W ANTONY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SAMIR ANWAR, REHAB MEDICINE

MARK ARBUCKLE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

RICK BARBER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

FIONA BROW, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GRAEME BROWN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

USHA CHAND, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SIDNEY TASMAN CHOY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

HUBERT D’CRUZE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

KALAWATI DEVA, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MICK EASON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ADRIAN GANE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MATTHEW SCOTT GENTRY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

BRUCE STEPHEN GREENFIELD, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MARK GROEN, GENERAL REGISTER

CHRISTOPHER GROSS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

AIDEEN HAWKINS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JANE HENRYS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

HARRY HILLEBRAND, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

DAVID HOADLEY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MICHELLE HOLLIS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

BERNARD KEITH HOLMES, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SHERYL HOWARTH, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

IVAN HOWIE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

NEIL HUTCHISON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MARK JOHNSTON, MUSCULOSKELETAL MED.

ROY KNILL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

CHRISTINE LIPYEAT, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GAVIN LOBO, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

DEXTER LOOS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MALCOLM LOWE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ALISTAIR DEAN MACKAY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

WILLIAM MACKEY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GARY MACLACHLAN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

HEIDI MACRAE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

UMESH PARBHU, GENERAL REGISTER

ROGER PARR, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GITA PATEL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANDRE PEYROUX, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

CHRISTOPHER (CHRIS) RADLOFF, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

CREASAN REDDY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JONATHAN REES, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

HELEN SHRIMPTON, GENERAL REGISTER

ANNIE SI, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ALISON SORLEY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

CAROLYN SUTTON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JUAN TOLEDO, GENERAL REGISTER

RENATA TOLKS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SIOBHAN TREVALLYAN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PETER VINCENT, GENERAL REGISTER

JULIET WALKER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GRAEME WHITTAKER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PETER WOODWARD, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

RODNEY (ROD) WYNNE-JONES, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

 

BAY OF PLENTY REGION:

JOHN AIKEN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GARETH BLACKSHAW, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

NIGEL BRUCE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GORDON CALDWELL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

CHARLOTTE (JANE) CARMAN, GENERAL REGISTER

TIM CHIARI, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

BERNARD CONLON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANDREW CORIN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JUDITH DONNELL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SIMON FIRTH, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ALASTAIR FRASER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

IAN GOURLAY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

COLIN HELM, GENERAL REGISTER

ROBERT HILLIGAN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

RICHARD HUDSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

BARRY KNIGHT, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

IAIN LOAN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

HELEN MCDOUGALL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SIMON MEECH, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PAUL NOONAN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

BRITTA NOSKE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

DAVID OFFNER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ROSEMARY PEDLEY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

BRIAN PERCIVAL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

NEIL POSKITT, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SYMON ROBERTON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MALCOLM SCOTT, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JOSEPH (JOE) SCOTT-JONES, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GUNAWEN SETIADARMA, GENERAL REGISTER

DEAN TASKER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GRAEME TINGEY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

TESSA TURNBULL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JOHN VICKERS, PSYCHIATRY

MARYANN WATSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ROGER WILLIS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

 

CANTERBURY REGION:

PHILIP ASHCROFT, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

AVA RUTH BAKER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JANE BATCHELOR GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GRAEME PAUL BENNETTS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

STEPHEN (STEVE) BERRYMAN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ROBERT J BLACKMORE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GRAEME GEORGE CARPENTER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

HARSED HIRALAL CHIMA, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ALAN CRIGHTON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

IAN CURRIE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JOHN L DEWSBURY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

RICHARD M EDMOND, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANTHONY JOHN FERRIS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

WILLIAM GORDON (BILL) GORDON, PSYCHIATRY

JAMES PHILIP GRAY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PETER HARTY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

LEWIS JOHN HUDSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

CLIVE HUNTER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

STUART KENNEDY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PETER LAW, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

KEVIN ROSS LEE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

STEPHEN LEWIS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JOANNE MACGREGOR, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANDREW M MANNING, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ALEXANDER JAMES MARSHALL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

RICHARD ANTHONY MCCUBBIN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

STEPHEN A MCGREGOR, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

WILLIAMPAUL(BILL) MCSWEENEY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PETER IAN MOODY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

RICHARD NEWMAN GENERAL, PRACTITIONER

VIVIENNE PATTON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

DAVID RICHARDS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GRAHAM GEORGE RITCHIE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

DAVID RITCHIE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JANET PATRICIA ROBINSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

BEVAN LLOYD ROGERS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

DAVID ROLLINSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PETER HUGH SHARR, GENERAL REGISTER

MURRAY RUSSEL SMITH, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

LINDSAY JOHN WILLIAM STRANG, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JEFF THOMPSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GERALDINE FIONA TREVELLA, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PAUL WANTY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

HAMMOND WILLIAMSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

HOWARD WILSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MARK WINTER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

REX YULE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

 

CENTRAL REGION:

PAULINE BLACKMORE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

KELVIN DE GINDER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JURRIAAN DE GROOT, REHAB MEDICINE

KHONDOKER MAHEN HABIB, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JULIAN JAMES-ASHBURNER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

DELAMY KEALL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

CHRIS LANE , GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JANE LAVER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

STEPHANUS (STEPHAN) LOMBARD, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

QUENTIN MACMURRAY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

RITA EILEEN MIDDLETON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JONATHAN MORTON, GENERAL REGISTER

IYNKARAN PATHMANATHAN (NATHAN), GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GREIG RUSSELL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SAM WILSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

RENNIE YOUNG, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

 

EAST COAST REGION (NORTH ISLAND):

TIMOTHY R (TIM) BEVIN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

AVANI KARL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JONATHAN (JON) EAMES, GENERAL REGISTER

KAMAL KARL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

RICHARD LOAN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

RACHEL MONK, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

VIVIAN (VIV) ROBERTS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ALAN WRIGHT, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

 

NELSON REGION (INCL. WEST COAST, MARLBOROUGH):

PEDER AHNFELDT-MOLLERUP, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GLENDA BARBER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MARIJKE BOERS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

TIM BOLTER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

DAVID (BUZZ) BOOTHMAN-BURRELL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANNA DYZEL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PETER GRIFFITHS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

TIMOTHY (TIM) HANBURY-WEBBER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

NICHOLAS G HASSAN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

BRUCE LINTERN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

LUCIA MITCHELL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

STUART MOLOGNE, GENERAL REGISTER

FIONA JANE MORRIS, GENERAL REGISTER

IAIN RUSSELL, GENERAL REGISTER

MARTIN SMITH, GENERAL REGISTER

GREVILLE WOOD, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

 

NORTHLAND REGION:

KATHLEEN BAKKE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GEIR BJORNHOLDT, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SIMON DAVID BRISTOW, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SHANE CROSS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GRAHAM FENTON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

IAN MARK HOFFER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

STUART D NORRIE, GENERAL REGISTER

SUZANNE PHILLIPS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

IAN CHRISTOPHER SMIT, GENERAL REGISTER

JONATHAN SPRAGUE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANTHONY (TONY) STEELE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PETER GEORGE H SUMMERS, GENERAL REGISTER

ALISTAIR D WHITTON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

CECIL WILLIAMS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

 

SOUTHERN REGION (SOUTH ISLAND):

DAVID ALLEN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PAUL BENNETT, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

NEIL BUNGARD, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JOANNE CANNON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

THERESA P COCKS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JAMES (JIM) COLLINS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

DIANA ALISON COOK, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SARAH CREEGAN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MARK CURTIS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

STEPHEN J DAWSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ROGER DEACON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

RONALD LEON DITTRICH, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PETER FETTES, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

LINDSAY (ROSS) FIELDES, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

NICHOLAS (NICK) GIBLIN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

WILLIAM GROVE, GENERAL REGISTER

PATRICIA (PAT) HASTILOW, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ROBERT STANLEY HEPBURN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MARIUS HILL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MURRAY JUDGE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

COLEEN LEWIS, GENERAL REGISTER

TABITHA LUECKER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

EMMA MACCALLUM, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANDREW IAN MCLEOD, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MARY MCSHERRY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

BRYAN MOORE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANTHONY (TONY) MORRIS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

WAYNE MORRIS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

BRENDAN PAULEY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JONATHON (JON) SCOTT, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

BRUCE SMALL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

NICHOLAS TERPSTRA, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MARTYN IAN WILLIAMSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

CHRISTINE WILLIAMSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANDREW WILSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

 

TARANAKI REGION:

DAVID E BALDWIN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ESTHER BGANYA, PSYCHIATRY

JOHN CANTILLON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JAMES (JIM) CORBETT, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANDREW (ANDY) CORSER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANNE FARNELL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SAMIR HEBLE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

TREVOR HURLOW, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MURTAZA K (MUZU) KHANBHAI, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANTHONY ROSS MARSHALL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

DAVID MCLEAN, GENERAL REGISTER

JOHN MOORE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MANJUR MORSHED, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SUJATHA GRACE PAUL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

HAROLD EDWIN PFEFFER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

BRUCE RONALD PHILLIPS, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SATYA PRAKASH, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

GAIL RICCITELLI, PSYCHIATRY

MANMOHAN SINGH, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

DAVID TALBOT, SURGEON

MICHELLE TODD, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANTHONY (CAMPBELL) WHITE, INTERNAL MEDICINE

LYN WHITE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

KENNETH YOUNG, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

 

WAIKATO REGION:

MARY BALLANTYNE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

RICHARD BALLANTYNE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ROSS DOUGLAS BLAIR, SURGEON

FARINA BRADY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SHRI CHAND, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JOHN COLLIER, PSYCHIATRY

M K RANJITH COORAY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SANDRA FLOOKS, GENERAL REGISTER

MOHAMED HARIS FUARD, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

SUE GENNER, GENERAL REGISTRY

SUZANNE GREAVES, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PETER HARRISON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

KERRY HENNESSY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

THOMAS FRASER HODGSON, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

STEPHEN (STEVE) JOE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MICHAEL KAHAN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ZIYAD (ZIG) KHOURI, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

AMRIT LAD, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

REETA LOCHAN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MICHAEL J MILLER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

CHRISTOPHER (CHRIS) MILNE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ANDREW MINETT, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

DANIEL J (DANNY) NEAVE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

JANE O’DWYER, PSYCHIATRY

ASIT PAREKH, GENERAL REGISTER

DEEPANI PERERA, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

ALFRED PINFOLD, GENERAL REGISTER

NAVIN RAJAN, GENERAL REGISTER

RAJINDER K SAINI, GENERAL REGISTER

LYUTSIYA S (LUCY) SLOOTSKY, GENERAL REGISTER

CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL SMILEY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

BARBARA LESLEY TOPPING, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

MARK VAUGHAN, GENERAL REGISTER

BARRIE LEWIS WINN, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

 

WELLINGTON AND HUTT REGION:

GUY JENNER, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

RANATUNGA A KALUPAHANA, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PATRICIA NEAL, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

PENELOPE (PENNY) ROWLEY, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

IAN ST GEORGE, GENERAL PRACTITIONER

 

Explanations and further comments

 

The above listed doctors (almost exclusively GPs, that is ‘general practitioners’), are ALL the selected ones that WINZ uses (and has used) as so-called “designated doctors”, who have been trained, are “consulted” and overseen by the Ministry of Social Development’s Principal Health Advisor Dr David Bratt, and his name should raise concern anyway!

 

These doctors are used to get “second opinions” on sick or disabled beneficiaries, and their recommendations are usually relied on by the Regional Health and Disability Advisors, who then pass the same recommendations on to case managers, who in virtually all cases then base their decisions to grant benefits, or to not do so, on those recommendations received.

 

The designated doctors listed were in August 2012 the current ones in use, and they are most likely still the same ones, as there are not that many changes in the ones WiNZ uses over the years. The regions listed correspond with administrative areas that MSD and WINZ use, hence some may actually be in geographical areas that are covered by administrations for other purposes.

 

Please bear in mind that some of these “designated doctors” are used more frequently than others, yes, anecdotal information says that some are true “hatchet doctors”, as they appear to deliver the recommendations that WINZ and MSD prefer, similar to the way ACC uses some “preferred” assessors, although they will of course never admit this!

 

So persons should approach these doctors with great caution, and well prepared, and go only with trusted support persons (willing to be witnesses) for any examinations to be conducted by them.

 

Again, read the advice at the very top of this post, and also take note of all other information offered here, as it includes the current provisions under the newly reformed, stringent and draconian welfare regime, we can thank Paula Bennett, John Key, Bill English and their selected “advisors” for!

 

For some further information also check the website of the Medical Council for registration details and so forth!

 

https://www.mcnz.org.nz/support-for-doctors/list-of-registered-doctors/

 

 

Please find attached the detailed Designated Doctor list in a PDF file, downloadable for registered members and readers. It contains a little more in details:

 

MSD, Designated Doctor List, complete, as in August 2012

 

F). Some further sundry information and advice on “welfare reforms” and WINZ

 

 

THOSE WHO ARE FACING A WINZ DESIGNATED DOCTOR EXAMINATION AND/OR OTHER ASSESSMENTS FOR WORK ABILITY, OR WHO MAY HAVE HAD TROUBLED EXPERIENCES WITH WINZ, SHOULD ALSO HAVE A READ OF THE FOLLOWING TOPICS, AS THEY SHED A LOT MORE LIGHT ON WHAT HAS BEEN – AND STILL IS – BEHIND THIS “AGENDA” THAT SO MANY SICK AND DISABLED ARE INCREASINGLY BEING CONFRONTED WITH:

 

Let us not forget what the “designated doctors” and now also contracted private “assessors” that WINZ use are all about, and what is behind it all. The following topics and comment threads reveal much more on welfare changes. Yet more information can also be found by searching for “Dr David Bratt” and “Professor Mansel Aylward” by ‘Google’, ‘Bing’ or else on the internet:

 

Links to other sources of information:

 

‘DESIGNATED DOCTORS – used by WORK AND INCOME, some also used by ACC: THE TRUTH ABOUT THEM!’

https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/designated-doctors-used-by-work-and-income-some-also-used-by-acc-the-truth-about-them/

 

‘MEDICAL AND WORK CAPABILITY ASSESSMENTS – BASED ON THE CONTROVERSIAL BIO PSYCHO-SOCIAL MODEL – AIMED AT DIS-ENTITLING AFFECTED FROM WELFARE BENEFITS AND ACCIDENT COMPENSATION: THE AYLWARD – UNUM LINK’:

https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/medical-and-work-capability-assessments-based-on-the-controversial-bio-psycho-social-model/

 

WELFARE REFORMS – THE HEALTH AND DISABILITY PANEL AND ITS HAND PICKED MEMBERS:

https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/the-health-and-disability-panel-and-its-hand-picked-members/

 

WORK ABILITY ASSESSMENTS DONE FOR WORK AND INCOME – A REVEALING FACT STUDY (various posts, here just 2 links):

https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-a-revealing-fact-study-part-a/

https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-a-revealing-fact-study-part-b/

https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-a-revealing-fact-study-part-c/

https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-a-revealing-fact-study-part-d/

https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-a-revealing-fact-study-part-e/

https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-a-revealing-fact-study-part-f/

https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-a-revealing-fact-study-parts-g-and-h/

https://nzsocialjusticeblog2013.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/work-ability-assessments-done-for-work-and-income-a-revealing-fact-study-part-i/

 

 

ADDENDUM FROM 10 OCTOBER 2014: FURTHER INFORMATION OF INTEREST IN THIS MATTER, FROM SARAH WILSON’S ‘WRITEHANDED’ BLOG:

 

It is good to see some discussion and debate on what is and has been going on at Work and Income since the last major, draconian “reforms”, and even what has been part of the “culture” at WINZ – and even the earlier Department of Social Welfare, well before them, albeit in a more moderate form.

Sarah Wilson has repeatedly raised some good, valid questions and points re the challenges she and other faced, when dealing with WINZ and their staff. She has written some posts on this on her blog called ‘Writehanded’, which can be found via this link:

http://www.writehanded.org/

 

Sarah is a feminist, and that is her right to be, even if some may disagree with “isms” that various people choose to follow, adopt or associate themselves with. In a recent discussion commenters such as “Muzz” and “Marc” covered some interesting topics and relevant details in their comments under this one of Sarah’s posts. It is called “All eyes on you”, describing the surveillance and security measures now in place, after the shootings in Ashburton, Canterbury:

http://www.writehanded.org/blog/2014/09/24/all-eyes-on-you/

 

It is worth a read, as it shines yet more light on what we are confronted with, and what some possible steps there are, to defend our rights and interests, especially when wrong, potentially very biased recommendations and decisions were made, by case managers, Regional Health and Disability Advisors, and by designated doctors and the new, supposedly “independent”, separately contracted “work ability assessors”.

 

TIME PERMITTING, I WILL ADD SOME ADVICE ON HOW TO MAKE REQUESTS FOR REVIEW OF DECISION, APPEALS AGAINST DECISIONS BASED ON MEDICAL ASSESSMENT RECOMMENDATIONS AND HOW TO PREPARE FOR MEDICAL BOARD REVIEWS AND SO IN THE COMING WEEKS. SO WATCH THIS SPACE, BUT I ADMIT, IT MAY TAKE A LITTLE WHILE TO PREPARE ALL THAT, WHILE I AM ALSO DEALING WITH SOME OTHER IMPORTANT MATTERS.

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  1. DESIGNATED DOCTORS – USED BY WORK AND INCOME, some also used by ACC: The truth about them | nzsocialjusticeblog2013

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