Medical Advisory Board

The MedHealth Medical Advisory Group (MAG) was established in 2014 to provide an oversight of clinical governance and advice for MedHealth aligned to best practice, legislative compliance and regional policies.

This will ensure MedHealth’s provision of safe and high quality independent medical assessments and other related services by companies. Specifically, the MAG will provide us with advice on:

  • Organisational and strategic issues including the refinement and improvement of traditional IMEs and the development of new products and services;
  • Operational issues that may impact clinical aspects of our business;
  • Consultant related issues including training and support; and
  • Developing a framework for MedHealth’s support for a clinical research agenda.

The membership is comprised of 10 of our consultant specialists across a variety of medical specialties who work within MedHealth’s business units, and three of MedHealth’s Executive Management Team, including the CEO, Tim Morphy. The Chairman of MedHealth (MedHealth Chairman) and the CEO are responsible for the overall governance of MedHealth. To ensure effective and efficient governance and operation, MedHealth may establish various committees to undertake a range of governance, operational, strategic and/or clinical functions.

 

Chairman

Dr Dwight Dowda (Chair), Occupational Physician
BSC (MED), MB BS, MPH, FAFOEM (RACP), FIAIME, FACOEM

Dr Dwight Dowda is one of Australia’s leading Occupational and Environmental Physicians, permanent impairment assessor and educator. With over 30 years experience, the focus of Dr Dowda’s private practice is as an independent medical examiner carrying out impairment evaluations, disability and work capacity assessments and occupational rehabilitation. He also currently serves as a Consultant Occupational Physician with mlcoa.
Dr Dowda gained his medical degree from the University of Sydney in 1976, and later completed a Master of Public Health at the University. He went on to qualify for Fellowship with the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Royal Australasian College of Physicians), and continued with formal training overseas with the American Academy of Disability Evaluation Physicians (AADEP) and the International Academy of Independent Medical Evaluators (IAIME), formerly the American Academy of Disability Evaluating Physicians, in the use of AMA4, AMA5 and AMA6 Guides.

Additionally, Dr Dowda has had significant involvement in the development, advisement and revision of impairment guidelines for a number of jurisdictions including NSW Motor Accident Authority and WorkCover NSW (now SIRA), ReturntoWorkSA, (previously WorkCover SA), WorkCover Tasmania, Comcare and Motor Accident Injury Assessment Scheme SA. He has also made substantive contributions towards Fiji’s OHS and Workmen’s Compensation Reform in terms of impairment assessment training. He has consistently taught and lectured on the various AMA Guides and relevant Guideline usage both locally and overseas to medical practitioners, lawyers, insurers and other relevant stakeholders and is consulted as an ongoing resource in these matters.

Dr Dowda was an invited contributor to the first edition of the “AMA Guides Casebook”, and an invited international reviewer of AMA6. He is currently on the editorial advisory board of the Guides newsletter. Dr Dowda continues to teach Comcare Guides Edition 2.1 and NSW MAA (SIRA) impairment rating to doctors.

Mr James Bodel, Orthopaedic Surgeon
MBBS, FRACS, FAOrthA

Mr James Bodel is a respected Orthopaedic Surgeon, highly regarded in the medico-legal profession and with expertise in all aspects of general orthopaedics including hip and knee replacement, arthroscopic surgery, back, neck and spinal conditions, and orthopaedic trauma. Upon completion of his medical degree obtained in 1974 from the University of NSW, Mr Bodel trained and worked at several major teaching hospitals in Sydney. He attained Fellowship from the Australasian College of Surgeons in 1982 and is also a Fellow of the Australian Orthopaedic Association.

With over 30 years experience in the medicolegal arena, Dr Bodel has vast knowledge in conducting permanent impairment assessments and reports, independent medical examinations, disability evaluations and dispute resolution. His clients have included defendant and plaintiff solicitors, workers’ compensation and compulsory third party insurers, and government and statutory authorities. He provides opinion and expert witness testimony in court matters.

Mr Bodel was a principal of Assess Medical Group, a medicolegal opinion company based across Australia and co-founded in 1986 with his wife, Dr Pia Rasmussen. The Company provides a range of services by a panel of highly qualified specialists to assist clients in the workers’ compensation and injury management industry.

Additionally, Mr Bodel was involved in the development and revision of the WorkCover NSW Guidelines and is currently an Approved Medical Specialist for dispute resolution of evaluation of permanent impairment with the NSW Workers’ Compensation Commission, and holds appointment as an Assessor for NSW Motor Accidents Medical Assessment Service. He is also accredited as a Permanent Impairment Assessor with WorkCover NSW and NSW Motor Accidents Authority – SIRA and Comcare.

Dr Derek Lovell, Psychiatrist
MB BS (HONS), FRANZCP, FACLM

Dr Derek Lovell is a Consultant Psychiatrist with considerable experience in general adult psychiatry and specialist skills in Forensic Psychiatry and Medico Legal aspects of Psychiatric Medicine. He obtained his medical degree at the University of Sydney in 1986 and completed his internship and residency at Westmead Hospital before commencing post-graduate psychiatric training and receiving Fellowship of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 1986. Dr Lovell is also a Fellow of the Australasian College of Legal Medicine.

For over twenty years, Dr Lovell has been consulting and providing psychiatric opinion in the area of medico-legal psychiatry. Over this period he has undertaken in excess of 15,000 assessments and reports including workers compensation and CTP claims for insurers and private solicitors in both criminal and civil matters; Fitness for Duty for Australian government and private insurers; income protection claims for disability insurers; disability pension reviews; and work for Comcare. He has expertise in formulation of Return to Work programs and liaises with rehabilitation providers to achieve the desired outcome for claimants. He also makes regular court appearances and provides expert witness testimony as required.

Dr Lovell currently works as a Consultant Psychiatrist for mlcoa in several states, providing permanent impairment assessments and independent medical examinations. Additionally, he presents at mlcoa events for clients representing the insurance, legal and government arena on topics such as “Bullying and Harassment”, “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” and “Chronic Pain from a Psychiatric Perspective”.
He also consults for CaseWorks, advising and assisting with the claims assessment process relating to injury or illness. He has previously worked as Senior Psychiatrist for Queensland Health and been in private independent medicolegal practice from 1997 to 2007.

Notably, Dr Lovell devised and co-authored the Psychiatric Impairment Rating Scale (PIRS), a specialised tool which forms the basis of most psychiatric insurance claim reports. Also, as a result of the direct application of PIRS and its widespread use within the industry, Dr Lovell was involved with NSW Motor Accidents Authority in the redesign of the CTP framework, and advised the Queensland Government on the Legislative reform of the CTP system. He currently holds impairment accreditation with various state compensation jurisdictions in Australia.

Dr Alison Drewry, Occupational Physician
MBChB, FAFOEM, MBA

Dr Alison Drewry is qualified by training and experience to assess and comment on injury and illness causation, rehabilitation needs, fitness for work, and permanent impairment. She is currently an Accredited Impairment Assessment Specialist with WorkCover Tasmania and certified to assess permanent impairment in accordance with AMA 4 and AMA 5. She conducts the training and peer review of Permanent Impairment assessment in New Zealand in accordance with AMA 4 and the (national variation) ACC Handbook.

She completed her primary medical studies at the School of Medicine at the University of Auckland in 1986 and proceeded with specialist training, becoming a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Royal Australasian College of Physicians) in 1994. She gained an MBA from Queensland University of Technology in 2002 receiving the Dean’s award for excellence in business studies, and prizes for organisational strategy and human resource management. Dr Drewry also has sub-specialty experience in Aviation and Undersea Medicine, and was the Medical Convenor of the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand for five years.

Dr Drewry has been active in occupational medicine training and assessment for several years and in April 2017 was appointed Chair of the Faculty Education Committee, which oversees all the education resources and systems for trainees and fellows. She consults for mlcoa in Australia and New Zealand providing medical assessments in fitness for work, impairment, disability and rehabilitation. Dr Drewry also serves as Senior Medical Advisor for ACC, NZ in the Corporate area of the Clinical Services Directorate concerned with the development and expansion of relationships throughout the health sector. Her interests here lie in outcome improvement in major trauma including Trauma System verification, maintenance of national registries and governance of national system projects, and injury prevention.
For many years Dr Drewry was Director of Defence Health for the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leading strategy, planning, governance and training, and providing health risk analysis and management advice to the Chief of NZDF. Additionally, Dr Drewry was on the expert panel for Veterans’ Health, New Zealand.

Assoc Prof Les Barnsley, Rheumatologist
B MED (HONS), PhD, DipClinEpi, FRACP, FAFRM

A/Prof Les Barnsley is a well-respected Rheumatologist with considerable experience in general rheumatology and musculoskeletal medicine. He is primarily involved in clinical practice and treats a broad range of conditions including Rheumatoid arthritis, regional musculoskeletal pain and soft tissue pain, connective tissue disease and vasculitis, bone disease, inflammatory muscle conditions and osteoarthritis. He has special interest in chronic neck and back pain, whiplash injuries, musculoskeletal disorders and inflammatory arthritis.

A/Prof Barnsley attended the University of Newcastle and graduated with honours in 1983, later completing post graduate study in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, as well as gaining a PhD from the University. He undertook specialist physician training in general medicine and rheumatology at Royal Newcastle Hospital. In 1990 he obtained Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians specialising in adult Rheumatology and was granted scientific fellowship of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine (RACP) in 1999.

A/Prof Barnsley is actively involved in patient care, teaching at post-graduate level and clinical research. He currently serves as Senior Staff Specialist and Head of the Department of Rheumatology at Concord Hospital, and Associate Professor, Department of Medicine at the University of Sydney. He also joined mlcoa in 2003 and consults in NSW and Tasmania, providing a broad range of independent medical opinions to lawyers, insurance companies and government bodies representing both claimants and plaintiffs. A/Prof Barnsley is accredited as a permanent impairment assessor with Comcare, NSW Motor Accidents Authority (SIRA) and WorkCover Tasmania.

Further, A/Prof Barnsley has contributed chapters to major rheumatology textbooks and been widely published in peer reviewed journals including the New England Journal of Medicine and British Medical Journal. He has been a member of the Expert Writing Committee for all three editions of Therapeutic Guidelines in Rheumatology. He has also been the Principal Investigator in several industry-sponsored trials of therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis. He is a regular contributor to Rheumatology Research Review, a monthly commentary on the latest developments in rheumatology research with a readership of over 5,000.

Dr Brett Halliday, Orthopaedic Surgeon
MB BS, FRACS, FAOrthA, CIME

Dr Halliday has extensive experience in general orthopaedic surgery and a special interest in joint replacement, trauma and limb reconstruction. He graduated from the University of Queensland in 1988 and obtained his Fellowship with the Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) in 1997. He then went on to complete additional training in joint replacement and trauma at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in the UK. Dr Halliday is also a Fellow of the Australian Orthopaedic Association (AOA) and Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). In addition to private practice, he is currently a senior visiting orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal Brisbane Hospital and previously served as Director of Orthopaedic Surgery. His private rooms are at the Holy Spirit Northside Hospital, Brisbane.

Dr Halliday has a strong commitment to medical education and has consistently participated in the teaching and training of medical students, registrars and surgeons. He has supervised orthopaedic registrar training at the Royal Brisbane Hospital and has been a member and chair of the Australian Orthopaedic Association Regional Committee and until recently a Branch Director of the AOA Federal Board. Dr Halliday has served on various boards and committees within the College of Surgeons and AOA including: Road Trauma Committee (RACS, Qld), Qld Training Committee (AOA), Workforce Planning Committee (Federal AOA).

In addition to his clinical work Dr Halliday is a Consultant Independent Medical Assessor with Medilaw. He is accredited as a Certified Independent Medical Examiner (CIME) with the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners (ABIME), is GEPI trained and is a member of the Independent Medical Examinations panel for WorkCover Qld. He is also an approved permanent impairment assessor with ReturntoWork SA, Motor Accident Injury Assessment Scheme (MAIAS) SA, WorkSafe Victoria and Comcare. Within Medilaw he has actively promoted and delivered continuing medicolegal education with the consulting doctors and staff.

Assoc Prof Peter Steadman, Orthopaedic Surgeon
MB BS, FRACS, FAOrthA, MCIME

A/Prof Steadman is a highly regarded Orthopaedic Surgeon with extensive experience in upper and lower limb general orthopaedics and a special interest in orthopaedic oncology. He attained his medical degree from the University of Queensland in 1986 and then went on to complete his orthopaedic training in Queensland, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1995 and a Fellow of the Australian Orthopaedic Association in 2000. He also spent 10 months as a Visiting Fellow to the Mayo Clinic, USA on a Queensland Cancer Fund Research Scholarship.

Currently in practice at the Mater Private Hospital in Brisbane, A/Prof Steadman is a visiting specialist at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital and the Princess Alexandra Hospital, where he formerly served as Director of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is a Senior Medical Officer with Queensland Health. In 2000-2003, he was the Southern zone director of Orthopaedic surgery for Queensland health that covered 9 hospitals in South East Queensland. He is currently PHD supervisor at University of Queensland Human Movements department.

At an Australian Orthopaedic association level, He has been State chairman of the Orthopaedic association in Queensland and federally been a board member and Treasurer of the AOA. Since 2008, he has held appointment as Associate Professor in Orthopaedics at the University of Queensland. Notably, he is a founding member and current President of the Australian Sarcoma Group – Australian Orthopaedic Association, having previously held position of Treasurer and General Director. He also serves on three charitable boards, Hannah’s Chance Foundation; Australasian Sarcoma Study Group (ASSG); and Queensland Orthopaedic Research Institute.

In addition to his clinical work, A/Prof Steadman is the Managing Director of Medilaw group, and is accredited with the American Board of Independent Medical Examiners (ABIME) as a “Master of medical examination” in all three AMA Guides 4/5/6 in common use in Australia and assists the ABIME in exam question preparation. He has attended Harvard Business School, USA where he completed executive education in “Leading Change and Organizational Renewal”.

He currently holds P.I. accreditation in all jurisdictions with WorkCover NSW, SIRA NSW CTP, Return to Work SA, Motor Accident Injury Assessment Scheme SA, WorkSafe/TAC Victoria, WorkCover WA and nationally Comcare.