The TAC does not endorse clients receiving treatment from members of their immediate family. There may be significant risks associated with healthcare practitioners treating members of their own family. These risks may include the loss of professional detachment; compromise of clinical objectivity; inadequate record keeping; incomplete medical history-taking; compromising the ability to conduct a physical examination (if required) as patient, treater or both may feel uncomfortable; potential for intra-familial conflict; requests for diagnosis or treatment outside the provider's area of expertise or requests for inappropriate treatment.
The TAC will not fund services provided by a member of a client's immediate family, unless exceptional circumstances exist, such as in an emergency situation or if a client resides in a remote area and the distance to access an alternative treater is excessive.
The TAC recommends that a client has his/her own independent treater to meet his/her healthcare needs in relation to transport accident injuries. Where it has been necessary to be treated by a family member, the provider should transfer care to another suitably qualified healthcare professional as soon as practicable.
The TAC's approach is in line with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and its branches in the States and Territories.
Transport Accident Act 1986 references: s.3 and s.60