I have been asked on a number of occasions if a MRP decision is binding. According to Section 46.1, notably sub-section 5 and 6 a MRP’s findings are binding on the AC, the “Board” and all persons with a direct interest in the claim. According to sub section 6, the medical findings of a medical panel are final and conclusive and not open to question or review in any court.
46.1(1) Where it considers it appropriate to do so, the Board or the Appeals Commission may, in the course of evaluating a claim for compensation under this Act, refer any medical issue relative to the claim to a medical panel to be dealt with under this section.
(2) Where a difference of medical opinion arises in the course of the Board’s evaluation of a claim for compensation under this Act, the Board shall refer the matter to a medical panel to be dealt with under this section.
(3) A person is not eligible to be a member of a medical panel unless the person
(a) is a regulated member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta who holds a practice permit issued under the Health Professions Act, or
(b) has a similar status under similar legislation in a jurisdiction outside Alberta.
(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) respecting the appointment and removal of the members of a medical panel;
(b) respecting the remuneration and expenses to be paid to the members of a medical panel;
(c) respecting the powers and duties of the members of a medical panel;
(d) respecting the remuneration and expenses to be paid to the medical panels commissioner appointed under section 46.3;
(e) respecting the powers and duties of the medical panels commissioner;
(f) respecting the determination of what constitutes a difference of medical opinion for the purposes of subsection (2);
(g) respecting the practice and procedure applicable to proceedings before a medical panel;
(h) respecting the ownership, custody, control, collection, use and disclosure of records, reports and information submitted to or created or acquired by a medical panel or the medical panels commissioner;
(i) governing any transitional matter concerning the application or operation of this section and sections 46.2 to 46.4 in respect of matters dealt with under any of those sections;
(j) respecting any matter that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out the intent of this section and sections 46.2 to 46.4.
(5) The medical findings of a medical panel are binding on the Board, the Appeals Commission and all other persons with a direct interest in the claim.
(6) The medical findings of a medical panel are final and conclusive and not open to question or review in any court.
2002 c27 s19;RSA 2000 cH‑7 s142;2005 c49 s3;
After a bit of research, I have found that the findings of a MRP are not binding on any one and the whole process is a waste of time and money as a MRP findings are nothing more than simply medical opinions that hold no weight. This can be verified by a decision by an Alberta Court of Queens Bench Judge in a well reasoned judgment cited as Alberta(WCB) v. Alberta (Appeals Commission for WCB) 2010 ABQB 368
Basically in Canada we all are under the rule of law and doctors do not have any jurisdiction to make any decisions that are specific to legislation, policy or regulations. The question now is, “how many workers were told after a MRP findings that the Case Manager must accept the opinion of a MRP and that a worker could not appeal. This is another glaring example of why all claims must be reheard and adjudicated no matter what the cost.
This is an example of moronic MLA’s enacting legislation that makes absolutely no sense. It now makes more sense to abolish MRP’s as a MRP is simply more doctors providing more opinions based on what little they know about certain medical conditions. When there is a difference of medical opinions, the benefit of doubt should come into play and all claims must be accepted with the benefit of doubt going to the worker.