Medical examinations for people exposed to hazardous dust
General practitioners working with Dust Diseases Care may need to perform respiratory medical examinations.
Our Dust Diseases Care program provides routine respiratory medical screening examinations for people who have been exposed to hazardous dust.
Workers can choose to be examined by local medical officers (LMOs), who are general practitioners (GPs) providing medical care to eligible Dust Diseases Care participants.
If you are an LMO, we will pay for the medical screening examinations we request.
LMOs performing the examinations are not required to make a determination about whether the worker has a compensable dust disease. The results of examinations are forwarded to us for review by a panel of senior respiratory physicians.
Compensable dust diseases include:
- asbestos induced carcinoma of the lung
- Asbestos Related Pleural Disease (ARPD)
- silica induced carcinoma of the lung.
Notification for medical examination
Dust Diseases Care will send a letter to both the doctor and the applicant to request a respiratory medical examination.
To the local medical officers (LMO):
We send a letter to the doctor requesting that he/she conduct a medical examination on our behalf and gives the name of the applicant. The letter includes a Clinical Card and lists the diagnostic results required.
To the applicant:
We send a letter to the applicant with the doctor’s name, address and phone number. We also request that the applicant contact the doctor directly to arrange an appointment for the examination.
Performing a medical examination
Performing respiratory medical examinations on behalf of Dust Diseases Care is done in 4 easy steps:
The doctor performs a respiratory medical examination and records the results on a Clinical Card. We do not require a report from the doctor.
The doctor arranges for the applicant to have a chest X-ray. We prefer to receive X-ray images on CD.
The doctor arranges for the applicant to have a pulmonary function test. Applicants who have not been diagnosed with a dust disease only require a spirometry test. Some doctors are trained and equipped to perform spirometry themselves (if so, the spirometry fee should be itemised separately on the invoice).
Applicants who have previously been diagnosed with a dust disease require two additional tests called ‘Diffusing Capacity’ and ‘Total Lung Capacity’ which can only be done in a specialised pulmonary function testing facility. We will only pay for these two tests if we have requested them.
The doctor collates the results for each applicant and sends them to Dust Diseases Care. The results should include the following items for each applicant:
- Completed Clinical Card
- Respiratory function test results
- Chest X-ray and radiology report
- Invoices for payment
The doctor can, if necessary, send the completed clinical card with the invoice for payment and arrange for the X-ray and respiratory function results to be sent directly to Dust Diseases Care.
Frequently asked questions
What if the applicant does not keep the appointment?
All reasonable expenses incurred by the doctor in relation to the requested examination will be met by Dust Diseases Care including situations where the applicant fails to attend an appointment.
What if the applicant needs a CT scan?
Please call our Medical Screening Services beforehand to discuss if you think we should pay for a CT scan.
What if I want to bring the applicant back for a subsequent consultation?
We will not pay for a subsequent consultation. We send a letter to applicants to advise them of the outcome of each respiratory examination.
What if the applicant requires treatment?
You can treat or refer but we will only pay for the respiratory medical examination requested by us.
Workers who have already received an award of compensation may be eligible to have medical treatment expenses paid by us. Proposals to provide treatment to patients in this category should be discussed prior to treatment with our Health Care Services Team on (02) 8223 6600.
If you require any other information or need to discuss our requirements for respiratory medical examinations please feel free to contact our office.
Customer Service Officer
Medical Screening Services
GPO Box 5323, Sydney NSW 2001
Telephone: (02) 8223 6600
Toll free: 1800 550 027
Fax: (02) 8223 6699
Office Hours: Mon to Fri – 9am to 5pm