Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) Northern - GPs called on to ensure medical certificates are lawful

GPs called on to ensure medical certificates are lawful

19 Feb 2019
The Employers and Manufacturers Association is reminding the medical profession to be mindful of its legal obligations when issuing medical certificates.

“Medical certificates are legal documents and need to be accurate,” said Paul Jarvie, EMA’s Manager of Workplace Safety. 

“In a recent case* we were unhappy with the term ‘workplace stress’ being used as a diagnosis,” Mr Jarvie said.

“Workplace stress is not recognised as a medical condition. Its a symptom, not a diagnosis.

“Illnesses such as hypertension, high blood pressure, depression and other mental disorders are definitively medical conditions and recognised as such internationally; stress is not.

“Guidelines on this were prepared by a medical professional and issued by OSH, the forerunner of WorkSafe NZ, in 2004 for general practitioners.

“The New Zealand Medical Council has since issued its own guidelines (September 13th 2013) on medical certificates which cover this issue.

“GPs, the ERA and Employment Court need to apply rigour in their use of such terms.”

Comments:   Paul Jarvie  tel 09 367 0963   0274 949 628

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