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Work and Incomes ATTACK on sick and disabled



We have heard Bennett and Key go on about "welfare reform", right? Well they have so far only given a bit of a foretaste of what is yet to come.
Some thorough research has revealed very disturbing facts and trends, and it pays to have a close look at it! This information is primarily about the challenges sick, disabled and invalids now face, and it should be looked at carefully and seriously, as they are amongst the most vulnerable "clients" of the supposedly "welfare agency" we now call "Work and Income":

I did some research into matters to do with designated doctors, some of whom also sit on Medical Appeal Boards, when as panel members (3) hearing "medical appeals" by applicants - or existing sickness or invalid's beneficiaries, and also some other Work and Income or MSD clients, I managed to find some more very interesting information. It is extremely hard to get figures re hearings, the costs associated with them, and re fees paid to attending medical and rehab professionals, but I managed to find some through searching the internet. Below are links to website pages with relevant documents containing interesting information.


Check these LINKS for statistical data about Medical Appeal Boards:
(see page 173 re MAB cost and case data)
(see page nr. 137 for MAB costs and meetings details)
(see page number 129, actual page 2, re MAB costs and meetings data)
(see page 132 for MAB costs and meetings)
(see pages 121-122, for MAB costs and meetings, increasing)
(see page 120 for MAB costs and meetings explosion in these since year before!)
(not that NO details about MAB costs and meetings published now!)

It is obvious, that the information from annual reports by MSD since 2004 and up to 2010 shows, that there has since 2009 been a kind of "EXPLOSION" of costs for Medical Appeal Bord hearings, as there was an increase from the 2008-2009 year to the 2009-2010 year of over 200 per cent!

Clearly under the National led goverment and under Paula Bennett there has been a substantial increase in appeals and hearings, which shows that more clients are dissatisfied with the decisions by designated doctors and Regional Health and Disability Advisors! Also does it appear that there has been a large increase in designated doctor examinations and assessments, which naturally would lead to an increase in at least some decisions based on them being disputed.

Anyway, the figures speak for themselves!

I have also available all the relevant PDF files, stating the details about the "explosion" of costs and hearing by Medical Appeal Boards! I will not attach them here though.

MSD have now apparently stopped publishing figures re MAB hearings conducted since 2010! There is apparently NO mention of them in annual reports anymore, and MSD seem to be keen to not disclose details, which should not surprise, as the "explosion" in numbers and costs has probably continued to date, which in itself could give reason for the interested public questioning what has been going on over recent years!

I can find no other information about MAB hearings, costs and numbers, let alonge outcomes, which all appears to be kept very confidential.

It would be interesting to get some reliable statistics on all this from MSD, so that comparisons with past statistics are possible. Maybe an Official Information Act request into this should be considered?

It is certaily a most worrying sign that the largest "agency" or government department in NZ is not making public anymore sensitive information about medical appeals. In another forum I also suggested that more information gets made available about the factual "training" of "designated doctors" that MSD and WINZ have been using since 2008, all trained under the management of staunchly "work ability" focused, Dr David Bratt, their "Principal Health Advisor", who released presentations to GP conferences and designated doctors under his management, suggesting "benefit dependency" is comparable to "drug dependency".

See this link for more info: Certificates are Clinical Instruments too - June 2012.pdf

See this one for a similarly important 'PowerPoint' presentation he uses:

So we have supposed "welfare reform" on such biased agenda, do we, dear Paula?

I think for once you should sack David Bratt for being the most unsuitable Principal Health Advisor employed by your ministry, and perhaps have yourself sacked right after that, just for integrity and for fair and reasonable justice, which any law abiding resident and citizen would expect.

Bring in FAIR and REASONABLE welfare reforms, please to create real employment for those that can work and who are willing and able to work, before you stigmatise, punish and marginalise the sick, disabled and in need of fair health treatment and a fair wage for not being able to work!

Regards -



ACC Board to be headed by Rebstock

So Judith Collins has just announced that Rebstock, former head of the Welfare Working Group, "specialist" trouble shooter in many matters for the Key led government, is going to head the board of ACC for 3 years.

That is very interesting, and one wonders, how that will improve the "culture" that went wrong over recent years, leading to many claimants being presented bizarre decisions and having to rather end up on WiNZ benefits than getting ACC.

But there are also other "interesting" persons on that board now. A Dr Des Gorman, also a staunch advocate to enforce a tight regime and to ensure that people do all to try and get back into work, he is also now member of the board of ACC. Once he was in some cases a "consultant" or similar for ACC. He also is a leader of Health Workforce NZ, an organisation within the Ministry of Health, tasked with applying a more "business like" and efficiency driven approach in health care.

Health Workforce also works with the Medical Council and the Royal NZ College of General Practitioners, as I heard.

A brief documentary screened by TV3 some time ago presented him as a rather unsympathetic medical expert, who apparently wrongly assessed a person with serious disability. Well, he later said, his assessment was not wrong, only ACC interpreted it somewhat incorrectly.

It is worth having a look at this short video on YouTube, and in it also features another "advisor" or "spokesperson" for ACC, who once also worked for MSD or WINZ - alongside Principal Health Advisor Dr Bratt. Both were involved in the "training" of the "designated doctors" that WINZ uses to re-examine and assess sick and disabled applying for benefits.

It's quite strange, how these familiar faces pop up again and again. With Rebstock at the helm things do not look that great for future claimants to ACC. I would be quite worried.

You Tube link:

Benefits are like Crack man!

Principal Health Advisor Dr Bratt


No wonder Bennett wants to have beneficiaries "drug tested"?!

But hey, maybe she is the "drug pusher" then?