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Authorised health practitioners

A health practitioner must be authorised to give evidence in court and dispute resolution proceedings.

COVID-19 update: SIRA has issued guidance material for both referrers and examiners to consider for independent medical examinations and reports during the COVID-19 pandemic:

In brief

The Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 (‘the Act’) places restrictions on the giving of evidence in respect of medical matters by health practitioners. Those practitioners who are authorised to give evidence in court and dispute resolution proceedings are known as authorised health practitioners.

Health practitioners may be authorised in one of three ways:

  • Being the treating practitioner of the injured person
  • Agreement between the parties, where the injured person is legally represented, and
  • Appointment by the Authority, either to its list of authorised health practitioners or for the purposes and duration of a specific claim.

Publications you may need

Fees and invoicing

The maximum fees for medicolegal services are set out in monetary units in Schedule 2 of the Motor Accident Injuries Regulation 2017.

These fees are adjusted each year in line with inflation, as set out in Schedule 3 of the Motor Accident Injuries Regulation 2017.

The maximum fees that apply from 1 October 2019 – 30 September 2020 are as are follows:

Maximum fees for medico-legal services

Appearances as witnessesFees for 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2021Fees for 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019
Health practitioners called to give evidence other than expert evidence, per hour (or proportionately if not for a full hour) to a maximum of $934 (cost in previous period is $919)$467$459
Health practitioners called to give expert evidence:  
(a)  for the first 1.5 hours (including time travelling to the court from the medical professional’s home, hospital, place of practice, office or other place and return to that place from the court)$1,245$1,225
(b)  for every full hour after the first 1.5 hours (or proportionately if not for a full hour) to a maximum of $3,735 (cost in previous period is 3,674)$467$459
Travelling allowance (for travel by private motor vehicle) in connection with appearance as witness—per kilometre$0.66$0.66
Accommodation and meals in connection with appearance as witnessreasonable costsreasonable costs
Medical reportsFees for 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2021Fees for 1 October 2018 to 30 September 2019
Report made by a treating general practitioner:  
(a)  if a re-examination of the patient is not required$389$383
(b)  if a re-examination of the patient is required$514$505
Report made by a treating specialist:  
(a)  if a re-examination of the patient is not required$1,245$1,225
(b)  if a re-examination of the patient is required$1,660$1,633
Report made by a specialist who has not previously treated the patient (where both parties have not jointly agreed to the appointment of the specialist):  
(a)  if an examination of the patient is not required$1,245$1,225
(b)  if an examination of the patient is required$1,660$1,633
Report made by a specialist who has not previously treated the patient (where both parties have jointly agreed to the appointment of the specialist):  
(a)  if an examination of the patient is not required$1,868$1,837
(b)  if an examination of the patient is required$2,283$2,245
Charges for copying medical reports—per page$1$1
Cancellation
Fee if appearance or medical report is not requiredNot more than 50% of the relevant amount specified in this Table

The maximum fees do not include GST, which can be added up to 10%.

The maximum fees apply to all health practitioners, whether or not they are authorised.

Health practitioners who are medical practitioners are bound by the maximum fees relating to medical reports and appearances as a witness.

Health practitioners other than medical practitioners are bound by the maximum fees relating to appearances as a witness. They are not bound by the maximum fees for medical reports.

Becoming an authorised health practitioner

The requirements for becoming an authorised health practitioner are set out in the Motor Accident Guidelines.

The Authority may appoint a health practitioner as an authorised health practitioner if satisfied that the health practitioner meets the eligibility requirements outlined in the Motor Accident Guidelines.

Health practitioners who are appointed as authorised health practitioners by the Authority have a duty to act in an ethical, professional and consideration manner when examining injured persons. An authorised health practitioner must meet and continue to meet the eligibility requirements and comply with the terms of appointment.

Referrals to authorised health practitioners on SIRA’s list may be made by the injured person, the insurer, or their respective legal representatives (if represented). SIRA does not arrange medicolegal assessments on behalf of the parties. Whoever makes the referral is responsible for covering the cost.

You can apply to SIRA using the application form. [Note: we recommend saving a copy of the form to your desktop or laptop prior to completing the application form].

For tips before starting the application, please see Preparing your authorised health practitioner application.

For further information email providers@sira.nsw.gov.au or telephone 1300 656 919.

Medical matters

‘Medical matters’ include the following:

  • the degree of permanent impairment of an injured person that has resulted from injury caused by a motor accident
  • whether treatment or care is reasonable and necessary in the circumstance or relates to an injury caused by a motor accident
  • whether treatment or care after 26 weeks will improve recovery
  • whether the injury is a minor injury, as defined by the Act
  • the degree of impairment of earning capacity of an injured person that has resulted from injury caused by the motor accident.