Refusing to treat a WorkSafeBC patient may be discrimination

Recently, WorkSafeBC has had a number of reports from injured workers, their employers and case management teams that some physicians and clinics are refusing to see injured workers as patients. While there may be some legitimate occasions when a patient presents that are inappropriate for a specific practice setting, almost all of the reports WorkSafeBC follows up on reveal clinics or physicians refusing to see patients on the basis of their status as a WorkSafeBC claimant.

The College’s professional standard titled Access to Medical Care reminds physicians that refusal to treat patients belonging in less-defined categories than those detailed in the BC Human Rights Code or the CMA’s Code of Ethics may lead to allegations of discrimination, and may result in complaints to the College, and to the BC Human Rights Tribunal.

Physicians who are having challenges dealing with an injured worker patient should contact one of WorkSafeBC’s physician medical advisors toll free at 1-855-476-3049.