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Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
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Doctors warn of bigger workload under labour law changes

Doctors' surgeries may struggle to cope with numbers of workers needing medical certificates and some people may not take a day or two off when they should, spreading sickness, a doctors' organisation warns.Over the weekend the Government announced widesp

NZPA
Mon, 19 Jul 2010

Doctors' surgeries may struggle to cope with numbers of workers needing medical certificates and some people may not take a day or two off when they should, spreading sickness, a doctors' organisation warns.

Over the weekend the Government announced widespread changes to employment laws, including that employers can request proof of sickness or injury within three consecutive days of an employee taking a day off. However, bosses will have to cover the employee's costs for getting a medical certificate.

General Practice New Zealand chairwoman Bev O'Keefe said the change could put pressure on medical centres.

"The issue for general practice is how we accommodate all those people who need to claim medical certificates because they will need to be seen and assessed which means they are going to impact on what is already the heavy workload of general practice.

"One thing we are not happy to do is to furnish medical certificates without seeing people because that's just hearsay."

Another issue was people may go to work ill.

"People may go to work when perhaps it would have been wiser to stay at home."

Dr O'Keefe said another practical issue would be whether people would be able to get the appointment within three days of taking a sick day and may need to take time off work to do it.

"There are some logistic issues around that. but I guess that's something we have to address because if this is going to become the law then we need to make sure that people can in fact get access to the medical certificates that they require when they need them and that is going to put some pressure on the system."

NZPA
Mon, 19 Jul 2010
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Doctors warn of bigger workload under labour law changes
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