all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

19 March, 2012

Poor Craig Thomson

He’s Really, Genuinely Ill, Really 

All the medical
certificates ever sent
were wholly benign;

and no GP would
dare provide a document
that’s less than quite fine.*

Of course, Craig Thomson
must be ill: it’s certified;
a doctor so states.

Thomson says that he
never even once supplied
a card for his mates,

and he never signed
for “escorts”, “drinks” and “desserts”:
that was just a joke

he need not explain.
The Prime Minister asserts
that he’s a great bloke

so that should be more
than enough for all of us
to clear Thomson’s name

since his mates won’t make a fuss
over any claim.

Thomson in better days,  before he felt sick to his stomach.

*  according to Dr. Steve Hambleton, President of the AMA, at a media conference today.  Busy, for the most part, with inventing slightly differing variants of the leading question asking whether, surely, the Coalition were unqualified to query the legitimacy of medical certificates, not one alleged journalist asked Dr. Hambleton whether he had never heard of a doctor complying with a patient’s request and thereto signing a medical certificate which certified that the patient had been ill but without the doctor’s examining the patient thoroughly. 

UPDATE (21 March):  see the case of Anderson v Crown Melbourne Ltd [2008] FMCA 152 (3 March 2008), wherein Burchardt FM referred to a medical certificate (used by a worker to obtain a sick-day because he preferred to watch a football match) as “inappropriate and improper, and [...] deficient”, and said, “Had not Dr Salter so inappropriately given a sickness certificate to somebody who plainly did not merit one, it seems entirely clear that Mr Anderson would not have gone to Perth and not have lost his job.”
In an “Explanatory Statement” for the Workers Compensation Regulations 2002 Subordinate Law No. SL2002-20, circulated by Simon Corbell MLA, the ACT’s Minister for Industrial Relations, it would seem that “doctor shopping”—a process whereby, for instance, a patient attempting to claim compensation  fraudulently might consult numerous doctors in order to find one amenable to his need for a less than completely honest assessment of his medical condition—is known to legislators:
The notice required by regulation 10 ensures that the reasons for any referral to a specialist to confirm or challenge a person’s medical condition is known by all parties.  The imperative to provide notices also dissuades all parties from ‘doctor shopping’.
“Doctor shopping” is known to at least one AMA representative:  in “Oldies’ driving ambition can be costly”, by Sasha Pcino, in the Mackay Daily Mercury (from May, last year), a “local AMA spokesperson and Sunshine Coast medical association president Mason Stevenson” is quoted:
“Some [older drivers] decide to doctor shop in order to circumvent the usual GP’s opinion on the matter, which is the best person to make the decision,” he said.
“This is why the medical authorisation certificate was changed to specifically ask if the doctor is familiar with the patient’s medical history or not in an attempt to stop doctor shopping.”
I sent an e-mail to Dr. Hambleton, asking him:
Do you still maintain that no doctor has ever supplied a medical certificate without having ascertained that the explanation provided on the certificate related accurately to the diagnosis by that doctor after a scrupulous examination?
Does not the widely known practice of “doctor shopping” suggest that some doctors will provide medical certificates which might be
inappropriate and improper, and deficient”?
Does not the case of “Anderson v. Crown Melbourne Ltd” provide an instance of a doctor’s having
provided a medical certificate which was inappropriate and improper, and deficient”?

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