Why a Nova Scotia doctor is fighting back against sick notes

A family physician in Bedford, N.S., says he’s seeing a growing demand for sick notes that are so detailed he feels they violate the privacy of his patients, and he’s starting to push back at the companies that require them.

Dr. Paul Young said some insurance companies and absence-management corporations are now demanding he fill out a two-page form for absences of two days or longer, including illnesses such as gastrointestinal problems, common colds and migraines. Some also ask that he include copies of up to three months of a patient’s chart.

“The employers should not need to know a medical diagnosis,” said Young. “All they need to know is that there’s a medical reason for it. I feel like any more information is often just used to hold it against the person.”

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