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Articles About ACC Articles from online sources

#61 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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Posted 17 September 2003 - 02:22 AM

Brian Fallow: Levies nearly low as they can go

29.05.2003


Average levies for employers have dropped by 25 per cent since workplace accident insurance was renationalised three years ago, but ACC chief executive Garry Wilson does not see much scope for further cuts.

From $1.20 per $100 of payroll during privatisation, the average employers' levy has fallen to 90c.

"We are probably not a long way off a realistic level," Wilson said. "The issue will be can we absorb a further drop in interest rates and still have that price.

"Also, there is a need to ensure the claimants get their fair share. We are looking to put a bit more effort into improving some of the benefits."

When interest rates go down ACC's claims liability goes up.

The claims liability is the actuaries' best estimate of the present value of the future cost of accidents that have already occurred. It can be thought of as the amount ACC would have to invest to fund obligations to existing claimants, which is why it rises when interest rates fall.

Every time interest rates fall 0.1 per cent, ACC's claims liability goes up by $75 million, hitting the Government's operating balance.

As ACC is still in the throes of a transition from a pay-as-you-go to a fully funded scheme, its reserves cover not much more than half of its claims liability. And accrual accounting rules mean revaluations of the unfunded portion have to be recorded as a charge against the Government's operating surplus.

In this month's Budget it took a $893 million charge out of the fiscal surplus for the 2002-03 year.

The effect of interest rates on ACC's liability accounted for $480 million of that. That reflected a drop in the discount rate from 6.8 to 6.1 per cent. Wilson expects interest rates to fall further yet, putting upwards pressure on the claims liability.

On top of that there was about a $410 million charge to reflect changed assumptions about the length of time people stay on ACC, especially within the motor vehicle account.

Whereas the effect of interest rate falls tended to reverse over time, the increase arising from longer times on claim looked like a more structural adjustment.

It reflected, Wilson said, medical advances and improved ACC case management.

"A lot of folk who were very seriously injured and who therefore incur quite high costs on ACC are surviving quite significantly longer."

And such claimants are concentrated in the motor vehicle account.

"A young guy who ends up in a wheelchair is probably going to cost $5 million to $6 million in lifetime costs. A fully ventilated tetraplegic costs $25 million."

ACC is seeking parliamentary approval for an increase in its petrol levy from 2.3c to 5c a litre from July 1, to boost the motor vehicle account.

The $410 million adjustment to the claims liability also reflects the fact that actuaries had previously assumed that no one would be on the scheme for more than 25 years.

"But now we have been going for 27 years and we have had some people on the scheme for 27 years," Wilson said.

"So that has put upward pressure on the liability as well."

It is, on the face of it, paradoxical that the claims liability should be rising when the number of claimants on ACC's books for more than a year has halved in the past six years to around 14,000.

But the claimants who were shed tended to be less costly.

The reduction in the number of long-term claimants, Wilson said, was entirely unrelated to the fact that the number of people on Winz invalid benefits had been growing just as strongly over the same period.

Rather, it reflected ACC's more proactive approach to rehabilitation...................

Full Article: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/busines...condsubsection=
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#62 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 17 September 2003 - 02:24 AM

'The Web Of Intrigue Spins Ever Thicker Around ACC.'
written by Rod Hinchco - 26 May, 2003





'ACC Policies For Dealing With The 'Tail'.

I wasn't enough to arbitrarily wipe off a couple of thousand people from the long term claimants list, but ACC had to employ all manner of dirty tricks in order to pull it off.

New terms came to the fore, such as 'Gaslighting' it's a sort of schizophrenic prick of a practice where your Case Manager (Loss Adjuster, poorly disguised) builds you up. Gets you on a high. Wins your trust........then craps on you from on high. That has become commonplace here.

Then there was the run around routine of sending claimants to a string of Assessors. Subjecting them to myriad evaluations.
Taking the 'Personal and Confidential' out of their lives.
Of ignoring court rulings in favour of the claimant and withholding genuine entitlements.
Refusing to recognise anything out of the ordinary. Chemical and poisons injuries and ailments are good examples.
A deliberate policy of assessing claimants as fit for work that didn't exist, and then transferring them onto unemployment benefit.

Others were transferred onto either sickness benefits or invalids benefits, whichever, ACC successfully converted these people from genuine claimants, entitled to compensation under the terms of the Act governing ACC, to beneficiaries.

You'll remember, Labour effectively did the same to our folks on aged pensions. They made them, and referred to them as beneficiaries, to stigmatise them in order to drive a wedge between the generations so as to lay the blame for their own incompetence and their misappropriation over the ages, at the feet of a growing 'Aged' community, as justification for higher taxes. Hence, the practice of 'Ageism' in health and even employment, supported without protest on the part of Government, by a graded risk level on Health Insurance.

It's a great pity you can't send old people off to war.

Getting back into focus again on ACC. God, I wish they would go away.....I'd love to be able to write about butterflies and a blue sky, these practices, which included using ACC's own Fraud Office as a form of intimidation or frustration, and requiring even paraplegics, and quadriplegics to return to New Zealand at their own costs in order to ascertain, if they have been visited by Aliens and given the miracle cure.

It got so bad, that similarities began to appear between what our ACC, this people's thing, and an insurance company in the United States of America was taking a thrashing for. 'FRAUD'
In a word..........'FRAUD'. Everything this American company was doing, ACC seemed to be up to as well. Coincidence? Maybe, but worth checking it out.
Did ACC and UNUM Provident actually have anything in common other than their methodology? After all, ACC were starting to see themselves and to describe themselves as an insurer.


Did ACC and UNUM Provident have any working relationship?

No, apparently not. Well, not according to the Minister supposedly responsible for ACC, and ACC had apparently given her such an assurance.

Was there any consultation between the two?

Again, no. Denied.

Had there every been any consultation between the two?

No. Nothing...............................(I wish they had a symbol for doubt......)

Are there or have there ever been any links between the two?

Well, yes. ACC was actually a shareholder of UNUM Provident, but that was back between 31 January, 1994 and 17 February, 2000. The share holding peaked at 8,800 shares in late 1999, with a book value of NZD $756,000 or thereabouts.

And there are no business/commercial/consulting links between the two right now?

No. Not now or in the foreseeable future.

"I'm going to frame this one. So you make up your own mind. I'll keep these details under tight wraps for future reference.

Medical Misadventure:

Ruth Dyson, again, the Minister supposedly responsible for ACC gave reason for genuine concern again yesterday with her disitations on 'Medical Misadventure' and just to prove that Labour don't have a complete monopoly on idiots, various opposition parties put forward their own versions on the same theme. Probably in preparedness for taking the reins come the next election.

Amid revelations that medical misadventure is reaching epidemic proportions here in God's Own, from misread smears, to outright quackery, to the introduction of new software packages to make Doctors writing legible so they prescribe appropriately, to improved education for Doctors to cover the prescription of multiple medications, and any reactions or side effects, right down to just plain bloody butchery, Dyson, I presume in her capacity, such as it is, as Minister supposedly responsible for ACC, and then perhaps in her capacity also as Minister for Disabled Issues, or even, as Associate Minister of Health, now there's a scary thought, has revisited 'Medical Misadventure' undoubtedly to lessen ACC risk.

The Medical Council (see their Web Site) advertise and make freely available, the facility to lay complaints against Medical Practitioners. It is an absolute sham. They have no powers. They lack the jurisdiction necessary to take any such matter, further. They are instead, required by law to forward any such complaint on the Health and Disability Commissioner, who appears to perform no other task than to frustrate Joe and Jenny Public into to tossing in the towel. Another shield for Government's backside, and what's more, even the Commissioner has bugger all power. A waste of time. A waste of money. Jobs for the boys..

There is little or no accountability required of the medical professions. We know already that the Hippocratic Oath is now all cock and bull. Doesn't mean a thing. Doctors fees are controlled by the State, not because they care about you or I. It is because they, the State, want to keep GP's in particular, lean and mean. The fees, like all other State controlled fees, are used to manipulate GST yield for Government. Sort of a productivity measure if you like.

Notice how easy it is to get surgery, even through the so called Public Health system if you are an earner.

If you are not an earner, you go on a waiting list, that is of course, unless you come under Canterbury District Health Board. There, chances are, you could be one of the 'flicked' 7000. And while I'm on that subject, I'm planning to ask a few questions on that score as well. I want some detail as to the

: Age breakdown of 'flicked' waiting list patients.
: Employment status, e.g.. earner or unemployed.
: Gender details, Male, Female.
: Were patients assessed before they got the 'Flick'.

and I'm trying to find a way of plotting the outcomes of these people. I'd like to know for instance, how many, if any, suffer unduly as a consequence of CDHB actions, or die as a direct consequence.

I'd like to collect information also, on who is flicked up, from the Public Health list, or Public Health discards, to private, but State funded surgery or care. I'd like to know their status as well. You know what I mean. ACC probably have a term for it "Affluent verses Effluent", something like that. Anyway, to be in a situation such as is, you'd kind of be 'Dyson with Death' in my opinion.

General Reminder:

Support for the Direct Action planned for 12 noon on July 1, 2003 against the apparent legal requirement written into ACC's Act or regulations that it is

"A legal requirement that victims of Rape or Sexual Assault must have a diagnosable mental injury"

as stated by ACC, CEO Garry Wilson and confirmed by way of correction by Ruth Dyson no less.

It was corrected from
"diagnosable mental illness".......to......."diagnosable mental injury."

This direct action is certainly not restricted to women alone. This is a disgraceful situation foisted on all New Zealanders. Watch this space for details.


http://www.kiwinews.co.nz/cgi-bin/editor/p...pl?article=2148
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#63 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 17 September 2003 - 02:27 AM

Howard's End: ACC And Miscarriages Of JusticeTuesday, 27 May 2003, 2:16 pm
Column: Maree Howard



Howard's End
ACC And Miscarriages Of Justice

By Maree Howard

The Transport & Industrial Relations Select-Committee of Parliament decided last week not to hold an inquiry into ACC and so the most outrageous miscarriage of justice continues unabated. Maree Howard writes.

In relation to an injured New Zealander, ACC has an overwhelming wealth of knowledge and experience.

It has the financial ability to fund sophisticated investigations involving high quality experts and have that material presented to it, guided, orchestrated and propounded by its own in-house lawyers responsible to it alone, and paid for by ACC.

Coupled with that, is ACC's ability to put high-priced lawyers up against unrepresented and physically and mentally injured New Zealanders at both review and appeal in the District Court. It controls and funds the whole process even going so far as to pay for the time of the District Court.

The application of any standards under the rules of natural justice would identify those circumstances as being unequal in negotiating ability and unfair.

This is not a level playing field, it is not fair, and it offends the basic principles of natural justice.

It also raises a serious question.

Since ACC invests huge amounts of levy-payers money in various companies and organisations in New Zealand and overseas, is it fair to ask whether the judges in the District Court who rule on ACC's decisions hold shares or bonds in those same companies in which ACC invests?

I do not recall ever seeing evidence of disclosure by judges of the investments, if any, that they or their families hold.

There are numerous cases throughout the world where judges have been taken to task when it was subsequently discovered that they held shares in companies and ruled on case which might have benefited them financially. The principle that a person or entity with a financial interest in the outcome of a case before it may not exercise any decision-making authority with respect to that case has deep and unequivocal roots.

It is not the result of a case, but the temptation, which provides the taint of unfairness.

ACC conducts internal administrative reviews of its decisions which don't even involve hearing the claimants side. That also offends the basic principles of natural justice.

I am not suggesting that any judge in New Zealand would be anything less than fair and impartial.

But consider that if a judge held shares in a company in which ACC had invested and then that judge ruled declining an injured workers weekly compensation, which might amount to thousands of dollars, that money would then be available to ACC to further invest in a company which the judge may also hold shares. It might, I say might, result in a financial gain for that judge.

Who would know? Justice not only has to be done, but it must be seen to be done. And New Zealand is a small country.

The same principle could apply to a reviewer at the initial stages of hearing an ACC decision before it went to appeal.

Scoop has recently heard commentary that there is some mystery over the quality and consistency of decisions coming from both the review and the appeal process and the body language of the person hearing the case is said to leave much to be desired when claimants are presenting their case. There is an allegation at both review and appeal that ACC and their lawyer gets a much easier time of it than the claimant.

I also have to question why there are no female judges sitting in the ACC jurisdiction of the District Court.

One lawyer has recently agreed with Scoop that the District Court is not following the Practice Note issued by the Chief District Court Judge for tele-conferencing, an exchange of submissions and agreement to a bundle of documents prior to the appeal hearing. It's an ambush on the day - for both parties.

Scoop asked why wasn't there a complaint. The answer was that a lawyer must appear before judges every day and realistically the last thing you want to do is to question or rock the boat. If that is correct, then it is a serious matter for the NZ Law Society to solve. We cannot contine with a culture of bullying or fear in this society - particularly at the judical level.

There are also complaints that reviewers, contracted to Disputes Resolution Services Limited a wholly-owned subsidiary of ACC, are also inconsistent and erratic in decision-making and that most will not allow an exchange of submissions prior to a review hearing meaning that an unrepresented injured person is at a great disadvantage when up against an ACC-funded legal hotshot.

It was constitutional jurist Albert Dicey (1835-1922) who said "..every official, from the Prime Minister down to a constable or collector of taxes, is under the same responsibility for every act done without legal justification as any other citizen. The Reports abound with cases in which officials have been brought before the Courts, and made, in their personal capacity, liable to punishment, or to make payment of damages, for acts done in their official character but in excess of their lawful authority. Appointed government officials and politicians, alike, and all subordinates though carrying out the commands of their official superiors, are as responsible for any act which the law does not authorise as is any private and unofficial person." (Law of the Constitution)

The true aim of the accident compensation scheme was to provide for the injured person and to prevent their becoming a charge upon their families, relatives or friends, or upon the community at large.

That principle has been well and truly lost in New Zealand and the ACC scheme has become all about money and investments while injured people get dumped onto Government welfare benefits by a focus on bias to deny rather than to accept claims. This puts people associated with ACC, like the medical professionals it uses, in an inherent conflict of interest position. :angry:

And it has just been revealed to Scoop that ACC was allegedly a shareholder in America's largest disability insurer, UNUMProvident, between January 1994 and February 2000. ACC is said to have held around NZ$ 756, 000 in book value of shares. :unsure:

UNUMProvident and other US disability insurance companies are currently before the US Federal Courts for defrauding claimants and have already had multi-million damages awarded against them. Insurance Commissioners are also imposing fines of up to $1 million and the Chief Executive of UNUMProvident has been sacked.

Meanwhile, the Transport and Industrial Select-Committee of our Parliament sits on its hands and won't conduct an inquiry into ACC. :(

http://www.scoop.co....0305/S00172.htm
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#64 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 17 September 2003 - 02:39 AM

It's time for another quango hunt
31 May 2003
By COLIN ESPINER

Finance Minister Michael Cullen is suggesting axing some of the thousands of taxpayer-funded jobs on public boards and quangos that cost New Zealand millions each year.


The move comes as ACT NZ and the Greens call for changes to the way hundreds of party hacks and cronies are appointed to often highly-paid public positions.

More than 3000 people serve on some 400 quangos funded by the public purse, with up to 900 appointments a year. Most are never advertised. Some of the positions attract salaries of more than $100,000 a year while others attract meeting fees of almost $1000 a day.

Human Rights Commissioner Ros Noonan, a former trade union official who was also recently appointed by Labour to a new task force to help raise the pay of women in the public sector, earns $165,300 a year. Former Labour cabinet minister David Caygill has earned more than $100,000 from chairing an inquiry into the electricity industry and also picks up $50,000 a year for chairing the ACC board.

Left-leaning former race relations commissioner Greg Fortuin earns $55,000 a year as a board member of NZ Post and ACC plus $400 a day on the Crown Forestry Rental Trust.

Others cashing in include Peter Cartwright, the husband of Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, former prime ministers David Lange and Jim Bolger, former Labour MPs Jenny Kirk, Stan Rodger, Liz Tennet, Jill White, Ann Hercus, Stan Rodger, former trade union official Ken Douglas, and a host of Labour list candidates and friends and associates of Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Dr Cullen said he had no idea how much quangos cost the country each year "but its quite a bit" of money.

"There are some areas where it really is quite extraordinary. The health sector is littered with quangos. There are massive numbers of committees and they're often quite large.

"I think there is a case . . . for having a bit of a look through some of these and deciding whether you really need all the advisory bodies we have and whether all of them need to be as big as they are.

"You really do wonder why you've got 10 or 12 people on them when probably four or five would be quite sufficient."

ACT and the Greens accuse Labour of going back on its promise to end "sleaze" in the public sector when it took office in 1999. The parties say a new, more transparent system of appointments is urgently needed.

Former Labour prime minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer, who terminated around 60 quangos during his time as deputy prime minister in 1985, said the number of appointees to public boards should be slashed in half.

"We ought to have another quango hunt. You need to have a war every five years or so because they proliferate like rabbits."

But Dr Cullen rejected claims Labour was worse than previous governments. He said when Labour promised to end "sleaze" in the public sector it was not talking about political appointments.

"I've never regarded membership of the Labour Party or the National Party as sort of a certificate of incompetency." :rolleyes:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,251272...26a6160,00.html
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#65 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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Posted 23 September 2003 - 07:47 PM

ACC gave ex-gang man $1m

13.09.2003


Paralysed former gang member John Jury, who it was said could not find caregivers and had to be looked after by his 11-year-old grandson, reportedly received nearly $1 million in an ACC payout five years ago.

In the past three years Mr Jury, who lives in Bay View, near Napier, received more than $300,000 of care and home help, and $84,000 in medical supplies, aids and equipment, North & South magazine reports. It says ACC also put $18,000 towards a $48,000 Ford Falcon XR8 that the tetraplegic drove until 1999, and pays him $673 before tax in weekly compensation.

Mr Jury's advocate, Mike Dixon-McIver, who took his story to TVNZ's Holmes show in a bid to get him round-the-clock care, told the magazine the case could cost ACC a lot more yet.

He said ACC had not provided the 24-hour care Mr Jury was entitled to and he intended to pursue back-payment claims. "The fact is, he has been under-resourced by hundreds of thousands of dollars," Mr Dixon-McIver said.

Mr Jury initially received a $17,000 lump sum for permanent loss and impairment after a 1976 drink-driving crash in which he broke his neck.

Then in 1996, the High Court ruled that people with serious and disabling injuries had for decades been entitled to more help than they received. As a result, ACC later paid out $231 million in "backdated attendant care" to 473 claimants - including $998,018 to Mr Jury.

The article claims Mr Jury owns or part-owns four properties in Hawkes Bay and another on Queensland's Gold Coast.

Reports in June that Mr Jury's grandson Luke had skipped school for six weeks to look after him sparked controversy around the country.

But North & South's article says the Holmes show only contacted Luke's school, Napier Intermediate, on June 11, the day after the programme screened. Had they phoned the school earlier, they would have found Luke was already back there and had been kept home by his grandfather after a dispute.

- NZPA


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm...section=general
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#66 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 24 September 2003 - 02:11 AM

ACC clients known as stock
Sunday, 20 October 2002

ACC plans to purge 1500 patients-report refers to its clients as stock; law specialist says clients treated inhumanely

There is disgust at an ACC document which refers to its clients in the same way a farmer refers to his animals.


Plans to purge 1500 long-term patients from ACC's books have been unveiled in a report, which refers to the clients as 'stock'.


ACC law specialist John Miller says this shows these people being cut won't be treated humanely.


He says the use of the word stock is indicative of the management culture at ACC which doesn't treat people as human beings.


An ACC spokesman agreed the choice of language is 'dumb' but wouldn't comment further on the matter.


Mr Miller says he's seen many cases where people haven't been removed from the system properly.


He says ACC is setting targets which have to be achieved by hook or by crook.

John Miller says the Corporation is referring to its clients as 'stock'.


He says this shows how its clients aren't treated as injured human beings which makes it easier to get rid of them

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#67 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 24 September 2003 - 01:02 PM

ACC denies 'hounding' allegation

by Christine Rush

ACC has denied claims that it contributed to the death of a 58-year-old Christchurch man last month.

Yesterday, The Press reported the man's family as saying ACC had hounded him to death, putting him under extreme pressure to work.
ACC failed to acknowledge the man's medical problems, including high blood pressure, they said.

The man died from a stroke to days after complaining of headaches and neck pains while on a work trial at a wholesale warehouse.

ACC said in a statement yesterday that it had been responsive to the man's health, cancelling his work trial immediately on his docter's advice.
The organisation visited him the next day and wrote to his docter for more information on his condition.

"This is a tragic situation and ACC extends its sincere condolence for the family's loss," the statement said. :angry: ( yeah right, ACC are always only too happy to have another claimant off their books, no matter how it is done!!!!)

"While we understand their veiws at this difficult time, we are satisfied that ACC's involvement in Mr X's rehabilitation was responsible and appropriate."
ACC's relationship with the claimant had been co-operitive and postitive, the statement said.

"The claimant and ACC had been working together to acheive a job placement outcome consistent with the claimant's skills, his interests, and the medical advice we had both received."

However, work trials were only pursued if all parties involved agreed to the appropriateness of the work and if the medical opinion supported it, Mr Wilson said.
Associate Minister of Accident Insurence Ruth Dyson had undertaken to investigate the man's case.

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#68 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 25 September 2003 - 02:44 AM

ACC fined $8000 for privacy breach
25 September 2003
By DEAN CALCOTT

The Accident Compensation Corporation has been ordered to pay $8000 to a former client after a leaked document almost destroyed his 50-year marriage.

In a case before the Human Rights Review Tribunal, the Privacy Act was found to have been breached when a copy of an ACC file with details of income found its way to the plaintiff's wife, who then realised the tiny allowance she had lived on was minuscule compared to her husband's actual income.

The tribunal was told the disclosure had destroyed her trust in him and caused severe domestic distress.

While they had not divorced, the plaintiff told the hearing that the affection had gone from the relationship, and he "now spent a good deal of time in the garden shed" to get away from the unpleasant atmosphere when the pair were home together.

The couple married in 1952, but the plaintiff had never disclosed his income to his wife. He claimed that was not unusual for the time.

She had never asked what he earned, receiving an allowance which was used for family living expenses. She found living off it to be a struggle but accepted her lot.

In November 1987 he suffered an accident, receiving ACC payments until 1996, when he turned 65.

But a list with his name and income details was inadvertently copied and sent to another ACC recipient. She did not return it, but sent a copy to the family.

When the wife saw what her husband's income had been she was outraged.

The tribunal accepted the disclosure cast a shadow on the previously supportive relationship. The plaintiff said divorce seemed likely at the time.

He subsequently went on a train trip to Australia, leaving his wife with no way of contacting him.

On his return he found her brother and sister had died within days of each other.

A long-planned trip to Europe for their 50th wedding anniversary came to nothing because his wife was unwilling to go.

The tribunal found the disclosure had been inadvertent and the ACC had done what it could to make amends.

It awarded the plaintiff $8000.


http://www.stuff.co....9849a11,00.html
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#69 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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Posted 26 September 2003 - 08:51 AM

Caught-out hubby hides in shed
26 September 2003
By SUE ALLEN

A man who took to hiding from his wife in the garden shed because of an Accident Compensation Corporation mistake has been awarded $8000 in compensation.

Richard Alexander Feather received the compensation after an ACC error which revealed his income to his wife – something he had kept under wraps for almost 50 years. A Human Rights Review Tribunal found the Privacy Act had been breached when a copy of Mr Feather's ACC file revealing his income found its way to his wife.

She was "outraged" when she found out she had been struggling for years to make ends meet on her small housekeeping allowance.

The revelation "cast a long dark shadow" over what had been a warm and loving relationship, the tribunal said.

Mrs Feather said she felt she had been deceived by her husband and that the disclosure had destroyed her trust in him.

Fearing divorce was likely, and in a "show of independence", Mr Feather then went off to Australia leaving no contact details. His return was to a chilly reception and only family intervention saved a 50th wedding anniversary celebration.

Though the couple are still married, Mr Feather told the tribunal he now spends "a good deal of time in the garden shed" to get away from the cold and unpleasant atmosphere that exists between the two.

The ACC became involved in the family's life after Mr Feather, a former railway worker, lost an eye in an accident in 1987 and went on to compensation payments.

The tribunal said Mr Feather had originally asked for $21,000 in compensation for interference to his privacy and to cover future costs including home help, a mobility scooter, medical bills and funeral expenses.

In his defence, the tribunal heard that not telling your wife how much you earned was not unusual for couples of their era. "Indeed it seems that Mrs Feather never asked him what he earned," it said.

The tribunal cut the figure to $8000, saying ACC's mistake was unfortunate, but not the only cause of the "sad decline" of the relationship.

ACC said this week that it regretted the error and had unreservedly apologised to Mr Feather.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/dominionpost/...09a6479,00.html
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#70 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 26 September 2003 - 11:57 PM

Caregiver gives good verdict on 'Judge' 06.08.2003




Looking after paralysed former gang leader John "The Judge" Jury is an uplifting experience, the Napier man who volunteered to be his caregiver says.

Mr Jury grabbed national media attention in June, when it was claimed his 11-year-old grandson Luke Jury was forced to skip school because no one else would look after him.

Previous caregivers said they had been subjected to abuse and offensive behaviour.

But 38-year-old Simon Mouritsen, who helps Mr Jury each morning to get out of bed, go to the toilet and wash, said he was "just another man", who wanted to be treated reasonably.

Mr Mouritsen, a former glazier, put himself forward for the job when he read about ACC's difficulties finding people willing to care for Mr Jury.

"It just jumped out at me ... I thought, there's a job I can do and no one else wants to do it. The pay would be reasonable, and I'd be the man that takes The Judge," he said.

Mr Mouritsen said he had had a chequered history, including time in prison on drugs charges.

Looking after Mr Jury was a chance to get a fresh start.

"I'm in it for the long haul. Somebody's got to do it."

Mr Mouritsen said he had been helping Mr Jury for three weeks, but received his first cheque from ACC late last week.

The training ACC promised him had not eventuated, and conditions at the house - such as a shower too small for two people - made the job unnecessarily difficult.

He spent up to three hours each morning at Mr Jury's home, six days a week, cleaning him, helping him exercise and tidying up.

"He's patient, and he has to be because I haven't done this work for 15 years.

"They're so grateful I'm here, they shake my hand every day when I go. I leave feeling quite uplifted."

Mr Jury said he was lucky to have Mr Mouritsen, but added he was entitled to 24-hour care from ACC.

Mr Jury's son, Junior, has returned from the South Island to help look after his father and his own son, Luke.

Meanwhile, Government agencies remain tight-lipped about the case.

A spokeswoman for ACC Minister Ruth Dyson said care was in place for Mr Jury and ACC would continue to monitor the situation.

"The situation is difficult and complex.

"At the moment things are working out, and we hope they continue to do so."

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm...storyID=3516511
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#71 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 27 September 2003 - 01:08 AM

Brother of former ACC boss faces fraud count :D

Wellington: The brother of former Accident Compensation Corporation boss Gavin Robins has been arrested and charged in relation to the alleged misuse of ACC funds by his brother while he was in charge of the corporation.

Anthony John Robins was arrested and charged yesterday with one charge of conspiracy to defraud after travelling from Australia to Auckland this week to be interviewed by the Serious Fraud Office.

He is due to appear in the Auckland District Court this morning.

Gavin Robins has been charged with using a document to obtain a pecuniary advantage and has been remanded to appear in the Wellington District Court on November 7, when he is expected to face a further 21 charges involving a total $1.4 million.

A statement from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) yesterday said further charges would be laid in the Wellington District Court next week against both men. Both are living in Australia.

The SFO has alleged that between May 1995 and April this year, Gavin Robins used ACC funds to buy three aircraft, which were operated for his personal benefit.

The acting SFO director, Judge Ron Jamieson, said the alleged offending came to light after an internal audit.

Gavin Robins was removed as chief executive of the ACC by the board of directors in May and the matter was referred to the SFO later that month.

Friday, 3-October 1997
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#72 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 27 September 2003 - 01:31 AM

ACC groups will strengthen stakeholder voice
Monday, 30 June 2003, 2:04 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Government

30 June 2003 Media Statement
ACC advisory groups will strengthen stakeholder voice

A wide range of non-governmental stakeholders will have a voice on how the ACC scheme is run, following the establishment of two new ministerial advisory groups, ACC Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

The two new groups are the ACC Ministerial Advisory Group, and the Ministerial Advisory Panel on Work-Related Gradual Process, Disease or Infection.

The ACC Ministerial Advisory Group, which met for the first time last Thursday (25 June), will provide independent and specialist advice to the minister on the operation, design and performance of ACC. The group is chaired by the ACC Minister. Its members are David Gerrard, Linda Beck, Lorna Dyall, Tim Cleary, Ross Wilson, Aniva Lawrence, and Nicola Drayton-Glesti.

The Ministerial Advisory Panel on Work-Related Gradual Process, Disease or Infection, which will meet for the first time on 23 July, will provide independent advice to the minister on issues relating specifically to work-related gradual process, disease or infection. The panel will be chaired by Wellington Queens Counsel Dr David Collins. Its members are Dr Evan Dryson, Professor Neil Pearce, Hazel Armstrong, David Wutzler, Tony Wilton and Karen Below.

The moves follow the establishment earlier this year of the ACC Consumers’ Outlook Group, which provides ACC with community advice on claimant service issues.

Ruth Dyson said the establishment of the advisory groups would ensure that ACC had access to a wide cross-section of views from non-governmental stakeholders.

“The Ministerial Advisory Group provides the opportunity for a range of perspectives to be taken into account on any issues concerning ACC’s operation and performance, and on the design of the scheme itself.

“The Panel on Work-Related Gradual Process, Disease or Infection provides opportunities for occupational health and safety experts to provide independent advice in an area where advances in medical knowledge are constantly challenging current assumptions and which requires continuous scrutiny.

“The establishment of these advisory groups is a further move towards ensuring the ACC scheme is fair, and is seen to be fair, for all of those associated with it.”

MINISTERIAL ADVISORY GROUP MEMBERS

Mr David Gerrard: 25 years experience in clinical practice and university teaching predominantly in sports medicine; is a widely published academic in injury prevention research; collaborated in review of ACC Sport Smart initiative; wide networks in sport injury sector; in 1995 received an OBE for services to medicine and sport.

Ms Linda Beck: legal background in claimant advocacy and support, and complaints management; holds a number of positions in community organisations and disability sector, including Disabled Persons Assembly; in 2000 received NZ Foundation for the Blind Achievers Award for academic study.

Ms Lorna Dyall: background in public health, particularly in Maori and Pacific health, and community and mental health. Has worked on a range of projects and research activities for Maori health, bringing a further ACC claimant perspective to the panel.

Mr Tim Cleary: specialises in employer health and safety issues for the meat industry, and in employment and ACC law; deals with ACC disputes and liaises between employers and ACC; reviewer of accident insurance legislation; former ACC corporate solicitor.

Mr Ross Wilson: extensive knowledge of issues surrounding employment policy and ACC; president of the NZ Council of Trade Unions since 1999; former deputy chair of ACC; has published articles and presented conference papers on occupational safety and health, ACC, and employment law and policy. .

Dr Aniva Lawrence: general practitioner; involved in practical application of ACC legislation with Pacific peoples; member of Pasifika Medical Association of NZ; has also worked in psychiatry, general medicine, general surgery and orthopaedics.

Ms Nicola Drayton-Glesti: specialises in provision ofmedico-legal, personal injury, accident compensation, injury prevention and rehabilitation legal advice; owns small international specialist legal practice; works with ACC claimants and ACC, including Catalyst.



MINISTERIAL ADVISORY PANEL ON WORK-RELATED GRADUAL PROCESS, DISEASE OR INFECTION

Dr David Collins (chair): Medical law specialist; a practising lawyer with a strong professional interest in ACC litigation; chair of the Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and the Pharmacy Disciplinary Tribunal. Wellington.

Dr Evan Dryson: Occupational medicine specialist, lecturer and president of the Australasian College of Medicine - Faculty of Occupational Medicine; a practising specialist occupational physician and fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational Medicine. Auckland.
Professor Neil Pearce: Director of the Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University; epidemiologist undertaking research into occupational cancer and asthma; has a substantial history of advisory posts in the health arena. Wellington.

Ms Hazel Armstrong: Barrister; advisor to Department of Labour on health and safety; has experience with Pacific Island and Maori workers and as a legal practitioner and representative for people applying for cover and entitlement for work related gradual process claims. Wellington.

Mr David Wutzler: Occupational health and safety consultant with Employers & Manufacturers Association; has extensive experience with occupational safety and health issues and has represented employers on many occasions on ACC matters. Wellington.

Mr Tony Wilton: General counsel, New Zealand Amalgamated Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union; foundation chair of Hutt Valley Community Law Centre Trust; represents union members in ACC review and appeal proceedings. Wellington.

Ms Karen Below: Joint owner of Mahi Kotari – Work One Limited, a private practice specialising in health promotion and injury prevention for Maori and Pasifika clients; an occupational therapist with extensive clinical experience; convenor for He Roopu Whakapiri, advisors on bicultural best practice and professional development to the New Zealand Association of Occupational Therapy. Auckland.


ENDS

http://www.scoop.co....0306/S00559.htm
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#73 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

  • Group: Guests

Posted 27 September 2003 - 11:25 PM

The 2001 Accident Compensation Corporation Annual Accounts

1 The Accident Compensation Corporation or ACC is a state owned corporation, and one of New Zealand's largest corporations. It holds some $NZ5billion in liquid assets. Their 2001 Annual Report can be downloaded at: http://www.acc.co.nz...al-report-2001/


2 In Nov 2000 the ACC bought shares in National Mail, a relatively new company trying to establish itself in the mail delivery business. Above two weeks later National Mail advised that it was ceasing mail operations causing the ACC to lose over half a million dollars on its purchase. At the time of the sale National Mail had not reported for some time and its shares had slid in value although only small volumes had been traded. ACC somehow thought it knew better or at least that is what we are expected to believe.

3 The share purchase was made public by the NZ Herald in an article which can be accessed here. There was a followup by the Evening Post as shown at right. ACC state that they were influenced in their decision to purchase by the appointment of Mr Peter Fitzsimmonds (below left) as a director of National Mail. . Mr Fitzsimmonds appears to hold very few other directorships. His major one appears to be as chairman of the company Metlifecare which owns retirement accommodation. The founder and a major shareholder and director of Metlifecare is and then was Mr Cliff Cook (below) who was the vendor of the National Mail shares brought by ACC. Mr Fitzsimmonds was also a director of @work New Zealand. This was a state owned corporation which was set up to take over certain ACC functions under a partly implemented restructuring of accident compensation by the previous government. This appointment stems from his experience as chairman of the life insurance company Metropolitan Life prior to it being purchased by another company.

4 Mr Fitzsimmonds therefore had close associations with the vendor, the buyer, and the company whose shares were subject to this controversial sale and these connections would seem to be aspects of his three main business connections. There is of course no conclusive evidence that as an insider he has passed information on the state of National Mail to either the vendor or buyer, wittingly or otherwise. One must assume that this is all a coincidence in the absence of conclusive evidence to the contrary. From another viewpoint it is quite evident that that these two businessmen have a close association through their senior directorships of Metlifecare. It is somewhat defying credibility to expect the discussions of any two such people not to include the affairs of National Mail where Mr Fitzsimmonds was a director and Mr Cook was both a shareholder and creditor. But Mr Cook does not count as an insider under the rules.

5 While in the circumstances shareholders might be expected to be keen sellers it is much hard to appreciate why the ACC should be a keen buyer. The response of the chairman Hon David Caygill as given in the Evening Post is shown above right while that of their Investment Strategist is provided here:..........



This letter answers the questions raised in your Official Information request.

The decision to buy Shares in National Mail was made by the Equity Manager. It was not made on the basis of any specific broker recommendation or information. The Equity Manager had visited the company on three occasions - once before the initial listing and twice subsequent to that. During those visits he had developed a high regard for the Chief Executive but had doubts about the business as an investment proposition.

However, on the basis of his understanding of the cash burn rate and the known cash reserves the Equity Manager believed it was worth keeping an eye on the company as a potential investment. The slide in the share price, the appointment of a strong independent director in the form of Peter Fitzsimmons and anecdotal information from contracted and trial customers all contributed to a change of view. As a result, the Equity Manager bought the shares, being fully aware of the risks involved, but believing that the potential rewards justified the risk.

There are no written documents recommending a purchase of National Mail shares, and no specific authorisation documents in relation to the purchase (as the purchase was within the Equity Manager's delegated authority). We will mail you copies of the broker contract note and the bargain entry audit report (from ACC's investment accounting system) in relation to this purchase.

ACC employees are allowed to privately deal with brokers that ACC deals with. ACC deals with all the major NZ stockbrokers (about 13 in total), so it would be impractical to prevent ACC staff from dealing with these brokers. Staff directly involved with the investment area are subject to rules as to when they may deal in particular stocks, and are required to report all personal transactions to management.

Yours Sincerely

Nicholas Bagnall Investment Strategist

http://justaccounting.co.nz/bag.htm
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#74 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 12:26 PM

Pacific people encouraged to consider ACC career
Tuesday, 14 October 2003, 12:01 pm
Press Release: ACC


Pacific young people encouraged to consider an ACC career

The Accident Compensation Corporation is supporting Wellington's "sPACIFICally PACIFIC" careers day at the Michael Fowler Centre today, as part of its active policy to recruit staff who identify with the communities they serve.

ACC says Pacific peoples are an especially targeted group for recruitment, with the number of its 2,200 staff identifying as Pacific peoples increasing to 95 this year, from 69 last year. Pacific staff members at ACC have the highest level of job retention of any group. The annualised staff turnover for Pacific peoples was 7% at June, far better than the 10-15% target range.

ACC Injury Prevention Consultant Ray Peniamina, who is one of the Pacific staff members on the ACC stall at today's careers day, says while ACC is a scheme for all New Zealanders, research and analysis shows that ACC needs to have strategies to address identified priority areas, to improve access and outcomes for Pacific peoples. He says priority areas include reducing injury rates, raising awareness of the ACC scheme and its entitlements, improving access to ACC services, and increasing the representation of Pacific peoples among ACC staff.

ACC continues to co-sponsor and attend key Pacific peoples' events that enable the Corporation to reflect its injury prevention and rehabilitation focus. ACC has also funded and taken part in a number of radio talkback sessions in Pacific languages, aimed at increasing awareness of ACC within Pacific communities.

ACC's community initiatives include the "Street Talk" road safety facilitator training programme for Pacific providers, which produced its first 11 graduates earlier this year. ACC funded this LTSA-approved programme to enable unlicensed drivers within Pacific communities to access driver and road safety education in a more familiar cultural framework. Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for Pacific adults, and 12% of all hospital injuries involve Pacific youth aged 15-24. Learner-drivers can reduce the time on their restricted licences by up to six months if they successfully complete a "Street Talk" course.

http://www.scoop.co....0310/S00108.htm
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#75 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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Posted 17 October 2003 - 07:01 PM

This from the Timaru Herald

Attached File(s)


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#76 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 17 October 2003 - 10:38 PM

This Reported in the DominionPost 17th October 2003

Attached File(s)


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#77 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 08:37 AM

Sleuth's fraud probe role queried
05 November 2003
By NICOLA BOYES

A private investigator who brought an allegation of fraud to ACC's attention was first hired by a disgruntled business partner of the accused.

ACC then paid the investigator $100,000 to investigate Ronald Frederick Donaldson, 61, of Waihi.

Donaldson has pleaded not guilty to 79 charges of using a document to obtain pecuniary advantage over 10 years from April 1989.

ACC says between then and November 1999 Donaldson illegally received $495,042, while providing ACC with information that told half the truth.

The Crown alleges Donaldson worked nearly fulltime over the 10 years, built houses and boats, was involved in property development and speculation, and ran businesses including one which set up a - housing system which was then sold for $2.2 million.

Donaldson received $748,497 for that sale, but did not tell ACC.

Hamilton District Court heard yesterday that ACC had concerns about payments to Donaldson in 1990, and looked at getting a private investigator.

It investigated Donaldson a number of times in the 1990s using IRD files and accountants, but ACC chief examining officer Norman Reid conceded a private investigator brought the alleged fraud to ACC's attention and was then employed to investigate it.

Under cross-examination by Donaldson's lawyer, Warren Scotter, Mr Reid said he was aware the investigator, Michael Campbell, had also been employed by a former business partner of Donaldson, Les Wykes, to investigate business dealings the two had.

Mr Reid said he believed the investigation had been conducted in a professional way.

He was aware Mr Wykes, who will give evidence for the Crown, and Donaldson were involved in civil proceedings. (Proceeding)

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/waikatotimes/...05a6579,00.html
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#78 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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Posted 07 November 2003 - 08:39 AM

ACC paid $100,000 to investigator, court told
05 November 2003

A private investigator who brought an allegation of fraud to ACC's attention was then paid around $100,000 by ACC to investigate it.

The Hamilton District Court heard yesterday that ACC had concerns about payments to Waihi man Ronald Frederick Donaldson, 61, in 1990 and looked at getting a private investigator.

ACC made its own investigations into Donaldson over the years, the court was told, but yesterday ACC chief examining officer Norman Reid conceded a private investigator brought the fraud to ACC's attention and was then employed to investigate it.

Donaldson has pleaded not guilty to 79 charges of using a document to obtain pecuniary advantage over 10 years from April 1989.

ACC says between then and November 1999 Donaldson illegally received $495,042, providing ACC with information but only telling half the truth.

The Crown represented by Jonathan Temm alleges Donaldson worked nearly fulltime over the 10 years, built houses and boats, was involved in property development and speculation and ran businesses including one which set up a housing system which was then sold to Fletchers for $2.2 million.

Donaldson received $748,497 for that sale but never told ACC.

Mr Reid said the ACC would have taken a completely different position and Donaldson would have been encouraged to work if it had been known.

Judge Robert Wolff heard Donaldson, a former fitter and welder, first lodged his claim with ACC in October 1988 saying he fell over and injured his back in July of that year.

Mr Reid said Donaldson received minimum compensation of $40 per week but after providing information of his business ACC discovered he was eligible for the highest compensation available, $1082 a week.

He said ACC wrote a letter to withdraw Donaldson's compensation, and contacted a private investigator but information received from Donaldson's accountant and the Inland Revenue Department assured them it was correct.

Donaldson provided the relevant medical and earnings related certificates over the 10 years which said he was able to do "selective work" but the Crown says he only told half the truth stating he was a cleaner earning $177.80 a week.

http://www.stuff.co....6320a11,00.html
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#79 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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Posted 11 November 2003 - 10:15 AM

ACC short-lists three to replace $45m Pathway
10 November 2003
By RICHARD WOOD

ACC is tossing up between three contenders to replace its Pathway claims management system which went live in 1997 and cost $45 million.

The project will be the largest component of the department's IT overhaul, or Information Systems Strategic Intent initiative.

General manager of development Murray Young won't say who the short-listed firms are, but says they will demonstrate their wares this week, following a request for information.

Further due diligence or a formal tender will follow.

An "aggressive" timeline will see a decision taken on the winning bidder by the end of June, though the replacement for Pathway will take up to another two years to implement.

The Pathway system was built in-house but Mr Young says computer companies have implemented similar systems elsewhere and ACC will be able to configure an existing package to meet its requirements.

Mr Young says the goal is to align ACC with government initiatives in e-government and provide a workflow system that reaches beyond the organisation.

He says Pathway's replacement is significant for ACC because it cuts to the core of the business and its external interactions.

ACC is looking for a system which will provide more automated processing of claims through a workflow system, rather than just be a repository of information, he says.

The Pathway replacement project will be followed by implementation of a full suite of Oracle Financials software.

ACC has implemented Oracle account receivables and will completely replace its use of Smartstream from Canada's GEAC by the end of June, says Mr Young.

Tenders will be invited by the end of the year for the Oracle implementation project.

The tender is likely to attract interest from specialist integrators, large accounting firms, and Oracle itself.


http://www.stuff.co....0551a28,00.html
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#80 Guest_Gone Walkabout_*

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  Posted 12 November 2003 - 07:38 AM

Lawyers partly satisfied with suggestions for ACC reform
12 November 2003

Lawyers say changes proposed for the way medical misadventure is covered by ACC are a start but the criteria need to be widened.

Refinements to possible options for changing the system were released yesterday in a feedback document to public comments.

It followed the release in May of an initial consultation document for reviewing ACC medical misadventure cover.

Retired lawyer and ACC consultant Don Rennie, convenor of the Law Society's committee on ACC, said yesterday that part of the society's suggestions in a submission on the review process appeared to have been accepted.

"If something happens and the outcome is adverse then you've got cover. That's what we're looking for."

That would mean it would no longer be necessary to prove negligence, rarity or severity when claiming for medical misadventure, Mr Rennie said.

He wanted to see medical misadventure treated under the "no fault" principles applied to other injuries.

"Medical accidents have always been treated differently, basically because of their cost, and also under the current provisions the ACC is required to report cases of medical error to the appropriate authorities for disciplinary action to be taken."

If the Government could pursue the society's suggestions then the way medical misadventure was covered would look more like the rest of the ACC system, he said.

Mr Rennie said he was opposed to some ideas in yesterday's document that some criteria should be set so only relatively serious injuries were covered as medical misadventure.

"I couldn't go along with that because cover doesn't depend on the seriousness of any other sort of injury.

"You're covered if you prick your finger on a rose bush. . . because you've had a physical injury," he said.

"I would be against any suggestion there be some sort of measure of relative seriousness (for medical misadventure). . . It would be contrary to the rest of the scheme."

Almost 90 per cent of the submissions received were in favour of overhauling the system for handling medical misadventure claims.

ACC Minister Ruth Dyson said earlier this year there was strong support for changing rules "which too often appear arbitrary and unfair".

Under the current legislation, for a claim for medical error to be approved, it has to be proven that a health professional or organisation has made a mistake.

Critics say this has often led to long and costly delays, and is at odds with the "no fault" foundation of the scheme as a whole.

The review found the system also created an "overly blaming culture" that led to people covering up their mistakes, thus compromising patient safety overall.

"Medical mishap" is defined as an adverse consequence occurring in 1 per cent or less of a given treatment.

ACC's general manager of policy, Cathy Scott, said yesterday that changes could be implemented by the end of next year.

http://www.stuff.co....3213a11,00.html


Quote

ACC's general manager of policy, Cathy Scott, said yesterday that changes could be implemented by the end of next year.


isnt it just great to see that ACC have policy of a 10 day timeframe - especially when they demand replies to their correspondence - now when it comes back to ACC - they can take as long as they like ..... :angry:
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