15 Sep 2012

Green MP encouraged by ACC minister's response

3:16 pm on 15 September 2012

Green Party MP Kevin Hague says he is encouraged by the Accident Compensation Corporation Minister's response to disquiet over the enormous volume of work and huge fees paid to four medical specialists.

The MP has used parliamentary privilege to name four medical specialists who he says ACC hires to get long term claimants off its books.

ACC Minister Judith Collins said she would be discussing with ACC's new board how it can have medical assessments that can be seen as independent by both ACC clients and the corporation.

Mr Hague told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme that Ms Collins will specifically raise with the board concerns about the particular reliance on a small group of specialists and the solutions that his party has offered.

Mr Hague says ACC needs to extend the contracts it already has with district health boards to achieve arms-length relationships with specialists.

ACC says it is looking into how it engages medical specialists, but says medical professionals are at present required to provide independent, expert advice, based on their knowledge and experience and to adhere to the Medical Council Code of Conduct.