Case Study: Cannabis Oil as a Reasonable Medical Treatment

Jonathan Coyle
Tony Chow

Claiming Cannabis Oil As A Reasonable Medical Treatment Under The NSW Workers Compensation Legislation 

In a recent case determined in the Workers Compensation Commission (WCC), a worker sought to claim the costs of medicinal cannabis oil treatment as a necessary medical expense caused by his injuries in a work-related incident. Determined on the papers by an arbitrator of the WCC, the issue of contention was whether the medical treatment proposed would actually serve to assist the worker. Influencing the decision was that the worker had a background of opioid addiction, and that the scientific literature on the use of medical cannabis in such therapy was not particularly strong.

Thus, medical evidence from the insurer differed from the worker’s claim as to the possible outcome of such treatment, and the arbitrator was not persuaded that the worker would have benefited from the use of the cannabis oil. The claim of cost of treatment was not accepted.

What Does This Mean When Seeking Payment For Medical Treatments?

The medical treatment you are claiming must be supported by medical evidence for the efficacy of such treatment. However, for first instances, you usually do not need to provide medical evidence. Insurers will likely pay for certain treatments with medical practitioners, physiotherapists, chiropractors, psychologists, and all other hospital admissions and surgery without much problem.

As a rule of thumb: If the medical treatment you are seeking is unusual or not considered mainstream, you will likely be asked to provide medical evidence in support.

*Disclaimer:This is intended as general information only and not to be construed as legal advice. The above information is subject to changes over time. You should always seek professional advice before taking any course of action.*

Key Contact

Jonathan Coyle
Founding Partner
Tony Chow


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Further reading .

Another successful medical negligence claim for a couple
Another successful medical negligence claim for a couple