There’s a general train of thought that getting a medical certificate is a matter of rocking up to a GP and going “I’m sick, just write me a medical certificate mate, that’s all I’m here for”.
Guess what? Not happening with me. I understand it’s in your financial interest to obtain a medical certificate, so that you or your child may be compensated for your sick leave, and it looks good on the books to have evidence of your absence. But hang on a sec..if a certificate was just a matter of pulling out a piece of paper and signing it, why do they need evidence from a registered health practitioner?
Doctors are legally responsible for the statements they make. These statements are based on a doctor’s opinion, following an assessment of a patient’s clinical condition (taking into account their history, examination, diagnosis, management, and expected recovery time).
If we cannot justify why you need a medical certificate, a medical certificate cannot be issued. To deliberately issue a false or deceptive certificate will not only reflect as professional misconduct under the Health Practitioner Regulation (National Uniform Legislation) Act and the Medical Practice Act, but the Registered Health Practitioner may face a charge of negligence or fraud, and subsequent disciplinary action.
Also, it is illegal to backdate medical certificates (issue a medical certificate in retrospect). There are very few circumstances where there may be an exception.
So, would a doctor really put their career on the line just to save you a few dollars? Maybe a foolish one, in which case, they shouldn’t be practising.
Now what about the patient themselves? Chucking a sickie may actually be considred grounds for disciplinary action by the employer.
Final thoughts: You’re not visiting a doctor to get a medical certificate, you’re getting a medical certificate because of your visit to the doctor. The certificate is based on demonstrable medical evidence. In other words, your health comes first.
Here are some notorious situations where sickies are rampant:
- Mondays and Fridays.
- Upcoming university exams.
- Upcoming major music festivals.
- Job interviews
- School holidays.
Top 10 reasons to call in sick:
- Sickness bug
- Mental health
- Head cold