“..The policy has been slammed by John Miller – one of the country’s top lawyers specialising in ACC legislation – who said the so-called “independence” of some assessors was a sham.
ACC lawyers, advocates and claimant groups know those doctors as “hatchet men and women”, Mr Miller said.
“They are not independent, as a substantial part of their income comes from ACC,” he said.
ACC figures reveal the corporation pays millions of dollars a year to a group of “independent assessors” -
- often flying them to towns or cities where other doctors with suitable qualifications already practise.
In some cases the ACC assessors are flown from the South Island to North Island cities.
At least $3 million was spent last year on airfares and assessment fees for a group of less than 12 doctors.
Mr Miller said medical professionals had expressed serious concerns to him about the issue.
Because some assessors earned virtually all their income from ACC -
- it was “inevitable” they would tend to “provide reports ACC wants”…”
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