Unintended effect of change in the process

When the WSIB changes its processes, there may be unintended consequences that affect injured workers.

A worker who had been prescribed opiod medications for some time felt unfairly treated when the WSIB put into place a new practice requiring that one physician prescribe all opiods. In the worker’s community, the only medical care was through the local hospital’s family practice clinic. The clinic had all the records, but care was provided by whichever physician was on duty. The WSIB said the worker’s medication could not be paid without one consistent prescribing physician, and the clinic said the worker could not have a dedicated physician.

The worker raised his concerns to the Commission and the WSIB undertook to fix the problem. However, a month later the worker called the Commission when he received a letter from the WSIB nurse consultant telling him his opiod medication had to be prescribed by one physician only. The Commission contacted the WSIB manager who referred the file to a medical consultant to confirm the medications were a reasonable treatment for the injured worker’s condition. They then made an exception to their new practice for this worker.