HealthcarePapers 8(3) May 2008 : 30-33.doi:10.12927/hcpap.2008.19795

Reduced Suffering and Increased Productivity - The Workers' Compensation Model



Workers compensation is an employer-funded indemnity, health and death benefit insurance program that is not subject to the provisions of the Canada Health Act. The workers' compensation board (WCB) fulfills the social contract between employers and employees with respect to work-related injuries and workplace disease. Rising healthcare and indemnity costs, poor access to services and increasing evidence of poor outcomes are the primary reasons WCBs have assumed a greater role in managing the care of injured workers. Through activism in the delivery of health services, WCBs have introduced competition, pay for performance, quality measures and provider accountability into the system. The WCB approach to ensure timely, quality care to injured workers provides a view into the potential application of the principles articulated by the Supreme Court in Chaoulli vs. Quebec, should the public system fail its citizens. Managers of the public healthcare system can learn a useful lesson by understanding WCB methods.



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