Trauma patients covered by compensation have worse physical and life-quality outcomes and slower recovery times than non-compensation patients, according to new research.
Orthopaedic injury, usually from transport accidents or falls, is the most common form of hospitalisation in Australia, according to the study published in the latest Medical Journal of Australia.
The authors - Professor Peter Cameron, Head of the Emergency and Trauma Group at Monash University, and colleagues - found these trauma patients had worse outcomes if covered by compensation.
'Compensable patients were more likely than non-compensable patients to report moderate to severe disability at follow-up health checks,' says Prof Cameron.
Compensable patients were also less likely to have returned to work or study.
Prof Cameron says their study adds to current evidence that compensation schemes may be a barrier to recovery from injury, but further study is needed to determine why.
The Medical Journal of Australia is a publication of the Australian Medical Association.