Doctors and SIRA – your nominated treating doctor

This page explains the role your nominated treating doctor will play in assisting you back to work after an injury.

Who is a nominated treating doctor?

A nominated treating doctor (NTD) is the medical practitioner nominated by you (normally your GP) to manage your recovery from injury and to assist in your safe return to employment.

The law

If your injury prevents you from doing your normal job for seven days or more, the law requires you to nominate a treating doctor.

Your NTD must be prepared to cooperate and communicate with your employer and the insurer in developing and implementing your injury management plan – the plan of action to assist your recovery and safe return to employment.

You must authorise your NTD to provide relevant information about your injury and needs to your employer and insurance agent. You do this by signing the SIRA certificate of capacity.

What will my nominated treating doctor do for me?

The NTD will:

  • recommend and organise treatment for your injury or illness
  • complete the certificate of capacity
  • cooperate and communicate with your employer, insurer and rehabilitation provider (if involved) about your health condition, progress and needs
  • cooperate and communicate with your insurer/employer in the development of your Injury Management Plan
  • review your condition and capacity for work on a regular basis

Your NTD should communicate with your employer, rehabilitation provider and other treating health professionals, eg physiotherapist, psychologist etc, when assessing your capacity for employment.

What should I do when I see my doctor?

Tell your doctor about:

  • exactly how and when the injury happened
  • any previous injuries or illnesses that you have had
  • any treatment that you have received or are still receiving for the work related injury
  • the types of duties and tasks you do at work
  • your normal days and hours of work

To help your doctor:

  • take a description of your job and the duties that you do from your supervisor or employer
  • take the names and telephone numbers of the contact people at your workplace, eg supervisor, return to work coordinator

Make sure that you:

  • obtain a certificate of capacity if you need time off work or any treatment for your work related injury
  • authorise your doctor to provide necessary information to your employer, insurer
    and other relevant people by signing the certificate of capacity
  • complete part C of the certificate of capacity (worker declaration) and send all sections of your certificate of capacity to your employer immediately

What do I do if I want to change my doctor?

Consistent medical care is essential to assist you with recovering and safely returning to employment after an injury. Changing your doctor can interrupt good medical care. There may be a good reason, however, for change including:

  • your NTD has moved or has ceased practicing in your local area and you are no longer able to see them
  • there is evidence that the management your NTD is providing is not helping you to recover and safely return to employment

If you have a reason to change your doctor, you must contact the insurance agent and/or employer and inform them of your reason.

If there is evidence that your doctor is not assisting you and your employer with safely returning you to employment, the insurer may:

  • ask a doctor experienced in workplace rehabilitation (injury management consultant) to review the management of your injury and return to work and talk with your doctor and employer to reach an agreement on the best way forward, or
  • ask you to nominate another treating doctor

Remember: it is your right and responsibility to nominate a treating doctor who is prepared to participate in your Injury Management Plan.

Need more information about doctors and SIRA?

Call the our assistance service on 13 10 50.