Abstract

This article discusses uses of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (AMA Guides) in Australia and New Zealand. In addition to its use in the United States, the AMA Guides also is used in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and some European countries such as Ireland, the Netherlands, and Norway. Use of the AMA Guides varies from country to country, depending on local workers’ compensation or personal injury legislation. In Australia, the AMA Guides is used in various state systems, but the editions used or recommended may differ. Often, cases in which the impairment predates December 1988 (when the current Commonwealth Workers’ Compensation Act became effective) are assessed in terms of the AMA Guides, Fourth Edition. Although many physicians use the Fourth Edition, others refer to the Table of Disabilities (Div 4/S66 of the New South Wales Workers’ Compensation Act) and Victoria prefers the AMA Guides, Second Edition. At the federal level, Australia has adopted the Guide to the Assessment of the Degree of Permanent Impairment (1989 but under revision at the time of writing). In New Zealand, the Accident Compensation Commission officially adopted use of the AMA Guides, Fourth Edition, in 1997.

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