14 Jan 2015

Workplace stress 'legitimate' - Medical Council

6:45 pm on 14 January 2015

The Medical Council has hit back at criticism that doctors shouldn't diagnose people with workplace stress.

Office worker head down exhausted on table (file photo)

Photo: AFP

The Employers and Manufacturers Association has said medical certificates should not be given to workers complaining of stress, which it said was a symptom, rather than an illness.

Its comments came after a Tauranga office worker, who was diagnosed with workplace stress, was this week awarded $10,000 in compensation by the Employment Relations Authority.

Medical Council chairman Dr Andrew Connolly said if a doctor diagnosed someone with workplace stress, that person could be too unwell for work.

"It's quite a legitimate reason to see the doctor and it's also quite a legitimate thing for the doctor to consider in terms of what needs to be done to aid that person back to better health," he said.

"Sometimes that may involve a period off work - it depends on the circumstances."

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