I have unconditional and unrestricted medical registration as a Specialist General Practitioner and have now practised medicine (urban, rural and remote) for fifty years. For the past ten years I have worked mainly as an assessor of permanent impairment and as a Medical~Legal consultant. Until recently I also continued to work and teach medical students, nurse practitioners and interns in an Emergency Department, in order to retain my clinical skills. I then held appointment as Clinical Senior Lecturer, Discipline of Acute Care Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Adelaide and I was also a member of the Clinical Teaching and Learning Committee of the Adelaide Medical School.

I have now successfully completed the course of study leading to the Graduate Diploma in Addiction and Mental Health (University of Adelaide) and the award will be conferred in April 2020.

A particular focus of study has been brain homeostasis, neurophysiology (especially neurotransmitters), pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug receptor mechanisms (particularly allosteric regulation) and the cerebral circuitry (principally mesolimbic and mesocortical pathways) of addictive and behavioural disease and resultant brain disorders which lead to impaired executive functioning and the associated disruption of major body systems, particularly gastrointestinal and urogenital.

Special interests are as follows.

·         assessment of permanent impairment which results from injury and/or accident, particularly Return to Work and the Motor Accident Injury Assessment Scheme (MAIAS).

·         Medical~Legal reports, independent medical examinations and evaluations.

·         Preparation of reports and submissions to assist in any matter (civil or criminal) before the Courts. A particular interest is in the relationship between drugs (legal and illicit), human behaviour, disordered body function generally and mental illness.

Because of the complexity of referrals please understand that there is often a wait for an appointment. Nor can reports be written in unrealistic time frames.  People have to be thoroughly examined and many documents are complicated and time consuming. We have found that most referrers and their clients understand and accept this. So – if you want an immediate appointment and a report produced the day after, I’m afraid we can’t help.

In respect of Return to Work and MAIAS we can evaluate the following.

• Spine                                                • Hernia

• Upper extremity                                • Lower extremity

• Skin

We can however evaluate most body systems where RTWSA and motor vehicle insurers are not the requesting parties because there are no constraints on my areas of medical practice. In any case only the Tribunal has a determinative function in circumstances of disputation as to the status of a report. 

There is nothing in the IAG to suggest otherwise and the RTW Act provides in s 22(13) that any assessment arranged by [RTW] is subject to any assessment arranged by the Tribunal and the adjudicative function of the Tribunal. Further the Tribunal is given a broad jurisdiction to review a decision as to a permanent impairment matter under s 97(d) of the RTW. In an appropriate matter the Tribunal is also empowered to make binding declarations of right pursuant to 2 26A of the SAET Act.

Rossi J: Palios v Return to Work Corporation of South Australia [2019] SAET 224.

If the need arises for an urgent assessment, particularly in connection with judicial proceedings, then we will do our best to assist you. Discuss your requirement with Jody or Chelsea. Our priority is to do what we can to avoid litigation, try and keep the peace and assist negotiation and settlement. We don’t always succeed and no doubt we occasionally make things worse.

Operating at the very bottom of the food chain in a highly politicised Daedalian environment is not always easy and free of frustration.

But all of us at Clinical Medicine try very hard to keep our sense of humour and keep in mind the admonition of St. Paul in Corinthians 11.19.

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