What we've heard.
A vulnerable population is being systematically re-injured. These injured workers end up traumatized by the system designed to help them, not only psychologically but financially, socially and in their family relationships.
I have many patients who are impacted negatively by their involvement with WSIB at a time when they are trying to heal. It is devastating to many that the organization that they believe to be their support becomes their adversary.
My experience has been that most injured workers receive good services from the WSIB. However, I’m concerned that a minority of patients with complex injuries are falling through the cracks and in some cases being mistreated by a system that appears to prioritize cost-cutting over patient outcomes.
I have stopped accepting new WSIB clients due to continual frustrations working with WSIB. Premature return to work against medical and psychological advice, arbitrary termination of sessions, failure to advise regarding acceptance/denial of treatment plan/sessions, patients forced to take programs in Toronto offering treatments I was already providing. I did not want to collaborate with a system that was designed to fail patients.
Inappropriate “work hardening” programs where the effect of pain on physical/mental activity is ignored, hostile, adversarial nurses and adjudicators who deny even the most basic pain care, absurd assessments by physicians and other health professionals who have no understanding of chronic pain management and outright misrepresentation of workers’ problems have been the rule among the people I treat. WSIB personnel behave in an arbitrary fashion and seem unaccountable to anyone. In my practice these are not isolated cases. Rather than facilitate treatment, the WSIB’s behavior seems aimed at inflicting as much distress as possible on these very vulnerable people.
I hate to see injured workers suffer and have to deal with delays and denials, and to have their experiences discounted in their on-going efforts to receive appropriate and timely support. Of course, this is also a huge frustration and deterrent to wanting to work with this population, because as a professional it is really hard and really time consuming to continue to fight!
Too often I have seen injured patients subjected to inhumane treatment by the WSIB machine. Cleverly disguised professionals add their weight to further harm the injured worker. This has to stop.