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

Gordon Campbell:
On Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Waitangi Tribunal: Report On The MV Rena

In its interim report, the Waitangi Tribunal has found that the Crown’s conduct in response to the grounding of the MV Rena on Otaiti (Astrolabe) reef breached the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. More>>

ALSO:

Gaza: Wellington Protest For Palestine Calls For End To Bombing

Around 300 people gathered outside the Israeli Embassy in Wellington on Friday to protest Israel’s occupation of Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Failure To Prosecute The GCSB

So one hand of the state – the Independent Police Conduct Authority – has now washed the hands of its brother agencies, and declared that all hands are clean. Case closed. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news