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ACC's Culture Of Ignorance For The Injured

MEDIA RELEASE 9 December 2009


ACC's Culture Of Ignorance For The Injured.

Chairman of Physiotherapy Trust NZ, Malcolm Hood, hit back today at ACC statements.

“Recent media comments by a non medical business manager, Gail Kettle, Operations ACC display a poor understanding of medical reality.”

Ms Kettle is reported as stating on behalf of ACC that “ the drop in numbers proves people were previously taking advantage of the system. When physiotherapy was free we suspect that some people maybe went for treatment for things that were reasonably minor, aches and pains and are maybe choosing not to now. We know, for example, that a lot of injuries like lower back pain recovers without any help."

These comments are a perfect example of ACC management’s ignorance and disdain for the injured” said Hood .

“Physiotherapy has never been free. For a time ACC picked up the physiotherapy charges for some patients in their entirety, but for the patient this had strings attached.

The fact that ACC allege patients were taking advantage of the system is a slight on patient’s integrity. Does ACC really believe people in pain lose their common sense?

In many instances seeking treatment for minor aches and pains is what prevention and good diagnosis is about. ACC previously spent huge amounts of the public’s money on advertising The Golden Hour, educating people to seek the earliest medical intervention for injury as this scientifically showed gave the most chance of keeping injuries within safer and economic boundaries.”

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“ Now we have another ruthless business ACC management statement, typical of an organisation so roundly condemned in a number of Official Enquiries and Reports into ACC.

”To maintain that all lower back pain comes right without physiotherapy is like saying that heart attacks come right without Doctors, or people with Diabetic attacks ought not seek help .. There are thousands of New Zealanders who have been crippled by back injury. The back is an organ--like other key parts of the body-- vulnerable to injury including paralysis and death in some circumstances. All primary health providers work diligently to better what nature may --adversely-- be deciding .

“ Will ACC next recommend The All Blacks, Silver Ferns and Olympic Games Teams just put up with injury and let nature take responsibility for athletes’ health, or do ACC mean only the average Joe / Jane levy paying citizen needs to tolerate a denial of recognised treatment . Should ACC just come out honestly and say it does not want to socially compensate for some conditions.
The current “ACC Stocktake” will provide a very revealing report on whether in the view of the independent experts ACC has improved at all. “say Hood.


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