The Medical Assessment Service (MAS) is a transparent and independent forum for the fair, just, timely, consistent, appropriate and cost effective resolution of CTP-related medical disputes.
MAS is committed to providing access and equity for all people who use this service. This primarily involves assisting parties who reside with metropolitan Sydney and regional New South Wales. This Policy outlines:
- the responsibilities of MAS in arranging the location of medical assessments; and
- the responsibility of claimants, their representatives and insurers regarding availability for medical assessments.
Medical assessment service responsibilities
1. The location of medical assessments
1.1 MAS will ensure that Medical Assessors trained in all permanent impairment modules and in assessing treatment disputes are available, including in some regional areas, to make an assessment pursuant to section 59(1) of the MAC Act which states:
‘The Authority is required to appoint medical practitioners and other suitably qualified persons to be medical assessors for the purposes of this Part.’ [Medical Assessment]
1.2 MAS will ensure that the referral of claimants for medical assessment is, as far as possible, based on:
1.2.1 the convenience of the location for the claimant;
1.2.2 the availability of a Medical Assessor with training in the relevant permanent impairment modules and dispute types; and if indicated
1.2.3 disability access.
1.3 MAS will arrange an assessment examination within four to six weeks after the allocation review, whenever possible. For some regional and interstate assessment, and in cases of multiple assessments, this may take longer.
1.4 MAS will endeavour to offer claimants who reside in prisons, detention centres or other correctional facilities in NSW an assessment by a Medical Assessor at the facility. An assessment at the facility will be subject to the advice of the facility. Each application will be considered on an individual basis.
1.5 Where appropriate and/or medically necessary, MAS will endeavour to offer claimants an assessment by a Medical Assessor at the claimant’s home. An assessment at the claimant’s home may be subject to supporting medical evidence.
2. The facilitation of assessments for claimants residing overseas
2.1 MAS is unable to offer in-person medical assessments to claimants residing overseas.
2.2 Where a MAS assessment is requested for a claimant who resides overseas MAS will, where reasonable and necessary, request the claimant to return to Australia for a medical assessment.
2.3 Urgent MAS assessments can be allocated for short term return visits to Australia.
2.4 Where travel to Australia is unreasonable, unnecessary or prohibited, MAS will allocate the assessment to a Medical Assessor to be conducted in Australia on the papers.
A party to an assessment may make a submission to the Proper Officer if they consider that it is reasonable or necessary for the claimant to travel to Australia for a medical assessment. The Proper Officer will consider any such submission and determine the way in which the assessment is to proceed.
Responsibilities of claimants, their representatives and insurers
1. Claimants and/or their representatives are required to advise MAS of any special circumstances, including physical or legal restrictions, which affect the claimant’s ability to travel.
2. Where a claimant resides in regional NSW or interstate they may be required to travel to the closest available Medical Assessor with training in the relevant permanent impairment module/s and dispute types.
3. Insurers are required to pay all reasonable travel expenses incurred by the claimant during travel to MAS assessments pursuant to section 64(1) of the MAC Act, which states:
‘The cost of medical assessment under this Part are payable by the insurer, except as otherwise provided by the regulations.’