WorkSafeBC coverage for physicians

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 46, No. 7, September 2006, Page 344 WorkSafeBC

At a recent BCMA-WorkSafeBC Liaison Committee meeting, BCMA representatives asked if we could outline the types of coverage available to physicians for occupational injury and/or disease.

WorkSafeBC coverage for physicians

At a recent BCMA-WorkSafeBC Liaison Committee meeting, BCMA representatives asked if we could outline the types of coverage available to physicians for occupational injury and/or disease.

Registration for corporations is mandatory

If you practise within a structure that is incorporated or you hire others to work for you, you must register with WorkSafeBC as an employer. Without WorkSafeBC registration, your corporation faces unnecessary financial risks. If an employee suffers a work-related injury or disease, your corporation could be held responsible for all costs, including medical and rehabilitation services, income replacement, and lawsuits.

If you are an employee and your corporation is registered with WorkSafeBC, you are eligible for compensation benefits for a work-related injury or disease.

Are you currently covered by WorkSafeBC?

If you are not certain of your WorkSafeBC coverage, please check. For instance, some hospitals consider physicians to be “workers” while others view physicians as independent and therefore not covered. To determine if you are indeed included under your employer’s WorkSafeBC coverage, please call WorkSafeBC at 1 888 922-2768 and choose option 2.

Personal Optional Protection coverage

If you are not considered a worker under the Workers Compensation Act because you work independently and are not incorporated, you can purchase WorkSafeBC’s Personal Optional Protection (POP) coverage. The premium payments for POP depend on the amount of coverage you want and the nature of your business. The minimum monthly earnings that you can insure are $1500 and the maximum earnings are $5200. For example, for a private medical practice, the premium for the minimum $1500/month coverage would be $4.20/month, while the premium for the maximum $5200/month coverage would be $14.56/month. Please contact WorkSafeBC for precise POP premiums for your particular circumstances.

WorkSafeBC coverage may not be enough

The maximum insurable wages amount under WorkSafeBC is $5200 per month. Wage replacement benefits are 90% of the net wages that are insured.

Since most physicians earn more than the maximum insurable wages and want coverage for non-work-related disability as well, purchasing additional disability coverage is a consideration.

WorkSafeBC benefits

You may already be familiar with the WorkSafeBC health care and rehabilitation benefits that your patients receive when they suffer a work-related injury or disease. Benefits may include short-term disability wage loss payments, certain health care and rehabilitation costs, long-term benefits for permanent disability, and death benefits to the survivor dependants of a worker suffering a fatal injury or occupational disease.

WorkSafeBC coverage has no waiting period; therefore, benefits for approved claims commence on the date of injury, with wage-loss replacement commencing with the first missed shift due to partial or total disability. For further details of the benefits, including eligibility and limitations, please visit

At present, there are no benefits available for quarantine from work in the absence of injury or disease as may have occurred during the SARS crisis.

If you are covered by WorkSafeBC as a worker—that is, you are employed by a corporation registered with WorkSafeBC or you purchase POP coverage—you are eligible for the same benefits that your injured worker patients receive.

Contact WorkSafeBC

For more information regarding Work¬SafeBC coverage and eligibility or an application for POP coverage, visit and click on Insurance or call WorkSafeBC’s Employer Service Centre at 1 888 922-2768 and choose option 2.

—Don Graham, MD
WCB Chief Medical Officer

WorkSafeBC’s 7th Annual Physicians’ Education Conference
“Pearls by the Sea”

Saturday, 21 October 2006
Coast Harbourside Hotel, Victoria
8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Conference highlights

• The Top Five Upper Extremity Controversial Treatments in Workers’ 
Compensation and
The Art of Return to Work—Dr Mark Melhorn
• The Neurosurgeon and Back Pain: When to Refer?— Dr John Sun

Workshop highlights

• The 3-Minute Examination of the Low Back—Dr Don Krawciw
• Working with Disability—Dr Bill Clifford
• Motivational Interviewing Techniques—Dr Dan O’Connell
• Hidden Occupational Diseases: Uncovering Them in Your Practice—
Dr Sam Youakim
• Practice Management with WorkSafeBC (forms, fees, billing)—Ms Ethel Croft

Coast Guard Icebreaker Workshop

• Worksite Assessment: Coast Guard Icebreaker, Victoria Waterfront—
Dr Peter Rothfels

For more information, contact Christine Lynn at 604 276-7742. 
Registration deadline: 15 October. To download registration form, visit and type in the keyword “physician conference.”


Don Graham, MD, CCFP. WorkSafeBC coverage for physicians. BCMJ, Vol. 46, No. 7, September, 2006, Page(s) 344 - WorkSafeBC.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply