The workers' compensation system in Kern County is broken. The system that services county employees who have been injured while in their employment are not being serviced in a healthy and proper manner.

Employees are not allowed to obtain quality medical treatment without intervention and direct control of County Counsel -- the attorneys who represent and defend the county from liability.

The county is self-insured to provide employees with workers' compensation benefits while using county adjusters and medical occupational treatment centers to provide services from start to finish during an employee's claim. Doctors provide the services that the county dictates to the medical practitioners for the medical treatment of employees.

The contracted doctors allow deviation from their Hippocratic Oath in their treatment of patients for fear of losing the contracts for providing medical treatment to county employees.

I believe it is time that the county revisit contracting workers' compensation management to an outside agency or insurance company, which disconnects the ability to manage an employee's medical treatment from start to finish while also allowing additional intervention by county managers who also have to manage injured employees.

Nobody has ever benefitted from a dictatorship or monopoly.

Steven Wright