This fact sheet for workers provides a brief overview of the role of the nominated treating doctor in the workers compensation system. It explains what you can expect from your doctor, as well as your rights and responsibilities around them.
What is a nominated treating doctor?
A nominated treating doctor (doctor) is the medical practitioner you nominate (normally your GP) to manage your recovery from injury and to assist in your safe recovery at/return to work.
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 doctor must be prepared to work with members of your support team, including your employer and the insurer in developing and implementing your Injury Management Plan.
You must authorise your doctor to provide information about your injury and needs to your support team. Do this by signing the certificate of capacity.
What will my doctor do for me?
Your doctor will:
- recommend and organise treatment for your injury or illness1
- cooperate and communicate with your employer, insurer, treating health professionals and rehabilitation provider (if involved) about your condition, needs, progress and capacity for work
- work with your insurer and employer to develop your Injury Management Plan
- complete the certificate of capacity
- review your condition and capacity for work on a regular basis.
When you see your doctor
Tell your doctor about:
- how and when the injury happened
- the types of duties and tasks you do at work
- your normal days and hours of work
- any previous injuries or illnesses you have had
- any treatment that you have received or are still receiving for the work related injury or illness.
Help your doctor by:
- taking a description of your job and the duties you do there (you can get this from your supervisor/employer)
- taking the names and telephone numbers of the contact people at your workplace (for example, supervisor and/or return to work coordinator).
Make sure you:
- obtain a certificate of capacity if you need time off work or any treatment for your work related injury or illness
- 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 your completed certificate to your employer immediately.
What do I do if I want to change my doctor?
Consistent medical care is essential to assist your recovery at/return to work after an injury.
Changing your doctor can interrupt good medical care, however there may be a good reason for change including:
- your doctor has moved or has ceased practising in your local area and you are no longer able to see them
- there is evidence that the management your doctor is providing is not helping you to recover and safely return to work.
If you have a reason to change your doctor, you must inform the insurer and/or your employer.
If there is evidence that your doctor is not assisting you and your employer with a safe recovery at/return to work, the insurer may:
- ask a doctor experienced in workplace rehabilitation (injury management consultant) to review the management of your injury, and discuss the best course of action with your doctor and employer, or
- ask you to nominate another treating doctor.
Remember, it is your right and responsibility to nominate a doctor who is prepared to participate in your recovery at/return to work.
SIRA is the government organisation responsible for regulating the NSW workers compensation system. Learn more about SIRA and workers compensation at our website.
1In some circumstances, insurer approval is required before the start of certain treatments. Contact your insurer case manager for clarification.
Download a PDF version of this information here.