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8.13.1 'Refuses or fails to submit' to a medical examination or 'in any way obstructs' the medical examination


This requirement under the 1971 Act is similar to the equivalent provision in the SRCA (S57(2)), except that the 1971 Act makes no mention of the claimant being able to rely on 'a reasonable excuse' for obstruction of or the refusal or failure to attend the examination.

As a matter of policy and administrative convenience, the provision in the 1971 Act is to be administered in conformity with practices under the SRCA, i.e. the delegate should take into account any reasonable excuse for the obstruction or the refusal or failure to attend the examination.

Cases where a 'reasonable excuse' could possibly arise include:

  • the claimant was not informed of the appointment, or there was confusion in relation to the arrangements
  • DVA had not organised payment of the costs of travel to the appointment and the claimant could not afford to meet the costs of travel from their own resources, or
  • the nature of the medical examination raised a real possibility of further injury to the claimant (but not a fanciful or remote possibility), or
  • the claimant discovered that a significant element of the arrangements for the medical examination had been changed without notice to them (e.g. a change in the identity of the medical practitioner).

In such cases, a new appointment should be arranged at the earliest possible opportunity.