WorkCover Queensland is defending a compensation claim in excess of $ 2 million brought by a doctor who sustained a wrist injury he claims from writing too much and performing fiddly medical procedures.
The doctor is seeking $ 2,336,198 in damages from the Cairns District Health Service and WorkCover.
In a claim lodged with WorkCover, the health district is accused of not providing adequate breaks due to under-staffing; requiring the claimant to meet unrealistic deadlines; and failing to prevent “extensive writing” during his time at public hospitals in Cairns, Cooktown and Mossman between February 2005 and May 2007. The doctor, 48, alleges he lost his job after suffering a wrist injury that resulted in loss of function in the hand, pain and difficulty writing.
“He has been unable to work as a doctor since, as he is unfit for such work, being unable to perform many tasks associated with being a doctor including tasks requiring fine motor skill and control,” the claim contended. “His prognosis is uncertain. It may be several years before he can obtain such employment (again).”
Causes for the injury nominated in the claim include prolonged pen grip, keyboard and mouse use, aggravation of symptoms by fine movements such as suturing, and a heavy workload that is “generally unpredictable”.
A separate WorkCover claim for psychiatric injury is still being assessed, according to the documentation lodged to the Supreme Court.