Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


WINZ staff interfere in treatment plans of beneficiaries

20 October 2013

Unqualified WINZ staff interfere in treatment plans of beneficiaries

Graham Howell, spokesperson for the Benefit Rights Service expresses concern at the interference by unqualified Work and Income staff in treatment plans of those on benefits and low incomes.

Work ands Income use Regional Health Advisors (RHA) or Regional Disability Advisors (RDA) to tell case managers to exclude items from the “Disability Allowance”. The Disability Allowance is intended to reimburse treatment costs if the person or their children has on-going health issues likely to last six-months or more. These RDA or RHA staff often have no formal medical qualifications, and even those that do have not been employed in a medical capacity for years – yet they are saying to case managers, “do not include” this item or that item when the person’s doctor says it necessary for ensuring their well-being.

The treatment can be for activities such as aqua-jogging for people with diabetes, prescription items that are do not have the full Pharmac subsidy or additional heating in the home. The person needing the DA often has to get their GP to write annual letters to Pharmac to get Pharmac saying the medicine is still not fully subsidised when this is public information and that the GP believes generic medicines are causing negative side-effects for their patient.

This behaviour directly impacts on treatment plans that are discussed between the GP and their patients. Beneficiaries are often forced to go without prescribed medicines and then, they or their children end up in hospital.

The Social Security Act is, however, designed to protect these RDA and RHA people from being taken to the Health and Disabilities Commissioner because legally they only make “recommendations”. But almost no case manager is prepared to go against their “recommendation”.

Beneficiaries in turn are not aware of their rights and because of the way they feel disempowered when at Work and Income, they simply take what is dished out to them.

The consequences for the country are untreated health issues and people going to the Emergency Department and being admitted into hospital at much greater expense.

The whole process sucks. People, on whatever income, need to be able to access the treatment prescribed by their doctor.

If we have to have the RDA and RHA these “advisor” need to facilitate people getting better, not make things worse.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

TV3 Videos: Key's Flip-Flop Over Whale Oil Texts | Slater
Reaction: Greens | More
Dim-Post Link: The Very Odd Slightly Left Of Centre

Gordon Campbell: On Government Arrogance

Right now, National is ramming anti-terrorism measures through Parliament. This legislation will grant the SIS the power to carry out 48 hour bouts of surveillance on anyone without a warrant, and will bestow on government the power to unilaterally revoke anyone’s passports and thus deny them the freedom to travel.

Ludicrously, the public has been given exactly one day to make submissions on these major infringements of their civil liberties. Despite Finlayson’s misleading signals on RNZ that these are only stopgaps until next year’s full review of our security laws, the measures in question will not, in fact, expire until 2018.

Why the insane rush? Good question. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Key Texts With Whale Oil Released: PM Can’t Be Trusted Over Dirty Politics Defence - Greens

John Key’s answers to questions about dirty politics can’t be trusted, after he was forced to admit that he had misled journalists and Parliament about contact with attack blogger Cameron Slater, said the Green Party today.. More>>

ALSO:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

White Ribbon Day: Govt Resumes Sexual Violence Trial Proceedings Work

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked the Law Commission to resume work on proposals for better supporting victims of sexual violence through the criminal process. The Law Commission will revisit its previous work on alternative pre-trial and trial processes to identify options for improving complainants’ experience in court. More>>

ALSO:

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news