Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, 1993 (Act No. 130 of 1993)
Scale of Fees
Annual Increase in Medical Tariffs for Medical Service Providers - 2021
Optometrist and Speech/Audiologist Gazette 2021
The Employee and the Medical Service Provider
The employee is permitted to freely choose his own service provider e.g. doctor, pharmacy, physiotherapist, hospital, etc. and no interference with this privilege is permitted, as long as it is exercised reasonably and without prejudice to the employee or to the Compensation Fund. The only exception to this rule is in case where an employer, with the approval of the Compensation Fund, provides comprehensive medical aid facilities to his employees, i.e. including hospital, nursing and other services - section 78 of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act refers.
In terms of section 42 of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, the Compensation Fund may refer an injured employee to a specialist medical practitioner designated by the Director-General for a medical examination and report. Special fees are payable when this service is requested.
In terms of section 76,3(b) of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, no amount in respect of medical expenses shall be recoverable from the employee.
In the event of a change of medical practitioner attending to a case, the first doctor in attendance will, except where the case is transferred to a specialist, be regarded as the principal. To avoid disputes regarding the payment for services rendered, medical practitioners should refrain from treating an employee already under treatment by another doctor without consulting/informing the first doctor. As a general rule, changes of doctor are not favoured by the Compensation Fund, unless sufficient reasons exist.
According to the National Health Act no 61 of 2003, Section 5, a health care provider may not refuse a person emergency medical treatment. Such a medical service provider should not request the Compensation Fund to authorise such treatment before the claim has been submitted to and accepted by the Compensation Fund. Pre-authorisation of treatment is not possible and no medical expense will be approved if liability for the claim has not been accepted by the Compensation Fund.
An employee seeks medical advice at his own risk. If an employee represented to a medical service provider that he is entitled to treatment in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, and yet failed to inform the Compensation Commissioner or his employer of any possible grounds for a claim, the Compensation Fund cannot accept responsibility for medical expenses incurred. The Compensation Commissioner could also have reasons not to accept a claim lodged against the Compensation Fund. In such circumstances the employee would be in the same position as any other member of the public regarding payment of his medical expenses.
Please note that from 1 January 2004 a certified copy of an employee's identity document will be required in order for a claim to be registered with the Compensation Fund. If a copy of the identity document is not submitted the claim will not be registered but will be returned to the employer for attachment of a certified copy of the employee's identity document. Furthermore, all supporting documentation submitted to the Compensation Fund must reflect the identity number of the employee. If the identity number is not included such documents can not be processed but will be returned to the sender to add the ID number.
The tariff amounts published in the tariff guides to medical services rendered in terms of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act do not include VAT. All accounts for services rendered will be assessed without VAT. Only if it is indicated that the service provider is registered as a VAT vendor and a VAT registration number is provided, will VAT be calculated and added to the payment, without being rounded off.
The only exception is the "per diem" tariffs for Private Hospitals that already include VAT.
Please note that there are VAT exempted codes in the private ambulance tariff structure.