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Your employee has an injury on duty and the doctor refuses to treat him. What do you do?

by , 03 December 2014
According to occhealth.co.za, many doctors refuse to treat employees with injuries on duty (IOD) because COID takes so long to pay them.

Because of this, employees often struggle to receive the medical attention they need.

But as their employer, you have a duty to ensure your employee gets treatment for work related injuries.

So if you find yourself in this situation, here's one thin you can do...

But first, you're probably wondering if doctors can actually do this...

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Can a doctor really refuse to treat a patient with an IOD?
Many hospitals do refuse to treat patients with IODs. 
Occhealth.co.za says in the Tshwane district alone, doctors in seven out of its 16 hospitals refuse to treat patients with IODs.
The reason for this is it takes between six months and five years for COID to pay doctors their claims. And if they go through an external third party, their claim goes through within two to three weeks. But those third parties charge 15% to 26% of the value of each claim for their services. 
This is despite COIDA clearly stating that no medical practitioner can refuse to give a patient emergency care. They also can't charge a patient for treating an IOD.
So no, doctors can't refuse patients by law, but they do. This means you have to act quickly when it comes to dealing with your employee's injury so he gets the treatment he needs.
Here's the one thingyou can do…
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Here's what you should do if your employee's doctor refuses to treat his IOD

If you pay the doctor cash up front, he'll feel happier about treating your employee. The reason is he no longer has to wait for his payment. 
This then, however, puts you at a disadvantage. Because of this, rather tell your employee to pay for his medical expenses and you'll ensure he gets compensation for that money from COID. 
Either way, make it clear when you submit your employee's claim that you or your employee covered the medical costs. 
When you submit the claim also report any doctor who refuses to treat your employee unless you paid him cash. Give the doctor's name, his practise number or the hospital he works for. 
Make it clear that your employee needed emergency medical care and the doctor refused to give your employee care unless you paid cash. 
This leaves it up to COID to deal with the doctor's behaviour. Just ensure you or your employee gets compensations for paying for the doctor's fees. 
Keep all the documents from the payment to prove your case. The documents include:
Receipts; and
The Doctor's W.CL.4.
Just be warned, some doctors are so against the COID system they won't even complete the W.CL.4 forms. If this is the case, demand a signed letter stating he won't complete these documents and why. 
If you demand this kind of documentation, the doctor may rather just complete the forms.
And remember, COIDA doesn't allow doctors to refuse to treat your employee so report anyone that does. For more on how to deal with COID, check out the COID Compliance Guide

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