A former public servant has lost an appeal to receive continuing remedial massage treatment for an old workplace injury
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has rejected a bid by former public servant Jeffery Drummey to force the federal government into paying for ongoing weekly massage sessions.
After a workplace incident at th ACT Electricity and Water Authority which injured Drummey’s back in 2002, Commonwealth workplace insurer Comcare paid for 648 massage sessions over the course of 12 years. These sessions cost between $63 and $81 per time.
After deciding in 2014 to stop covering this treatment, Drummey objected to the decision. When Comcare dismissed his objection, Drummey approached the AAT, which ultimately gave its decision last Friday (23 September).
Deputy President of the AAT, Ian Molloy, looked at the evidence from both Comcare and Drummey’s remedial massage therapist, Alfio Sorbello. Sorbello said the treatment was “highly beneficial for reducing pain and freeing up the scapular and shoulder girdle to reduce tension on the trigger points and to improve the quality of life for Mr Drummey”.
In his final judgment, Molloy ruled that any ongoing massage treatment was not “reasonable to obtain” in Drummey’s situation.
He pointed to the case of Alamos vs Comcare which gave the following list of relevant factors to consider: