Doctors are a lot to blame giving sick certs.

Discussion in 'Letting Off Steam' started by ajapale, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. ajapale

    ajapale Moderator

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    A GP's primary role is to treat sick people: its not to act as an industrial relations arbitrator in my opinion.
     
  2. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    Some doctors give out certs without seeing the "sick" person. This is most common with long-term sick leave. I find this most suspect.
     
  3. Firefly

    Firefly Frequent Poster

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    On the face of it I agree and a GP certainly shouldn't be promoting the issuing of a sick cert. But if a patient requests one then a GP would be open to a liable action if they refused to issue one...
     
  4. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    Not sure about that.
     
  5. blueband

    blueband Frequent Poster

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    very true, or how would the doctor who refused to issue a cert feel if the person when to work and had an accident through illness, or fell down dead!
     
  6. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

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    With respect, this is nonsense. As an accountant, over the years I have turned down many requests to certify stated 'earnings' that were unsupported by evidence. There is no question whatsoever that any such refusal could be deemed as libel.
     
  7. Purple

    Purple Frequent Poster

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    Using that logic everyone who ever presents at a GP's surgery should get a cert. The GP should use their judgement and make a diagnosis based on medical requirement, not based on what they think they need to do to keep their customer/ make an easy €50.
     
  8. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

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    A professional's cert is worthless if they are susceptible to moral blackmail.
     
  9. blueband

    blueband Frequent Poster

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    with respect, you can hardly compare the two professions!
     
  10. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

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    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
    .............
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  11. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

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    Sorry I don't understand what you are getting at?
     
  12. Sunny

    Sunny Frequent Poster

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    Well you can ask for evidence to back up claims as an accountant. If I go to a Doctor with a serious Migraine, what is he going to ask me for apart from a list of symptoms. Is it then up to the Doctor to call me a liar?

    Or back trouble? Not everyone looking for a cert is lying about their problems.
     
  13. Firefly

    Firefly Frequent Poster

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    As an accountant you would be liable if you certified accounts that were incorrect. As a doctor you would be liable if you refused to certify a patient who claimed they are sick and then went on to injure themselves at work.

    The two professions are miles apart. An account will seek physical proof of income/expenses etc by looking at bank statements (plus a lot more I imagine). On the other hand a GP has to go largely on what they are being told by the patient. For example, if I present myself with intermittent back pain to my GP and tell him I get pains every 2 hours or so for 15 minutes, how is he to argue with me? He can and should arrange an MRI scan or similiar but he would be very foolish to deny me a sick cert if I asked him.

    In any case, the patient looking for a dodgy sick cert is the key person to blame here.
     
  14. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

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    No you wouldn't. End of.
     
  15. Latrade

    Latrade Frequent Poster

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    I'd agree, the GP can only make a call on the symptoms described by the patient. In an ideal world the would be able to run detailed diagnostics and MRIs there and then, but that isn't possible. If it is a long term sickness, then the employer has the right to seek a second opinion as to the extent of the illness and to measure fitness for work through their own occupational physician.

    I do sympathise with GPs that they aren't occupational specialists in many cases and so have to make a professional judgement based on the symptoms described and based on the work as described by the employee.

    That doesn't mean the system isn't in need of some fixing. For example, rather than a blanket medical certificate, one (as in the UK?) that states the exact nature of the work the employee is unable to conduct, so employee can still present for work, but work in a limited capacity.
     
  16. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

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    Except that declining to issue a cert is not tantamount to calling anyone a liar.
     
  17. Sunny

    Sunny Frequent Poster

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    You might not be liable from a legal point of view but they are open to professional mis-conduct cases if they just ignore a Patients complaints and refuse to issue a cert and something then happens the patient in work.
     
  18. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

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    Not if they are doing their job properly. The doctor is entitled to their professional opinion, based on proper execution of their own duties in forming that opinion, even if the opinion is later shown to be incorrect.
     
  19. Sunny

    Sunny Frequent Poster

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    It pretty much is unless you are absolutely sure that someone is fit for work and is not suffering like they say. As another poster said, maybe more specific certs are the answer rather than general certs and employers can always insist on other medical opinions if they wish.
     
  20. T McGibney

    T McGibney Frequent Poster

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    We're going round in circles here but does no doctor ever say 'I can't find anything wrong with you'? That's not calling anyone a liar.