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Should the Gov't Pay For Injured Man's Wii?

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the if-the-wii-fits dept.

Wii 222

An anonymous reader writes "Politicians in the Australian state of Victoria are currently locked in a debate about whether an injured man should be able to claim the cost of a Nintendo Wii for rehabilitation purposes under worker's compensation. The man's doctor apparently recommended he use the Wii Fit exercise device, but both insurance companies and the government itself have blocked the payment and have now ridiculed the idea as paying for video games. But with the Wii Fit increasingly being used for rehabilitation purposes internationally, does the man have a fair case?"

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222 comments

He should be careful what he wishes for... (4, Funny)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070528)

He should be careful what he wishes for, apparently there might be a risk of ending up like this women:

http://idle.slashdot.org/story/10/04/15/146236/Woman-Claims-Wii-Fit-Caused-Persistent-Sexual-Arousal-Syndrome [slashdot.org]

Re:He should be careful what he wishes for... (1)

Eggbloke (1698408) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070806)

I'm not sure I would mind.

Re:He should be careful what he wishes for... (3, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071152)

Persisistent arousal is no laughing matter. Being aroused on a continual basis and wanking until your penis is raw? from personal experience, I can tell you it isn't fun... I sure wouldn't want to go through my middle/high school years again. (okay, early college too)

Re:He should be careful what he wishes for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32071198)

Well, I've got persistent arousal syndrome and I've injured my "Wii"... so can I get the government to pay for it?

Hmm... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32071512)

If the question starts with:

"Should the Gov't Pay..."

The answer is no. Remember, the government does not have money of it's own. All of it's money comes from theft (taxes), inflation (a hidden form of taxation) and borrowing (enslaving their "citizens" to foreign bankers). So no, the government should not pay.

It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (5, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070538)

I'm not saying they should condone it, but a Wii is probably a lot cheaper than any other form of treatment or medication. Just saying.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070570)

EXACTLY what I was going to say. It's probably 10x cheaper than other treatments/devices. I can see the other side -- it's like medical marajuana -- people come out of the woodwork with faked conditions to get a prescription. Wouldn't want to start a land-rush. Next thing you know there will be "medically certified" Wiis out there costing 5x as much as the same thing "off the shelf" and on and on. Paying more now might avoid a rush that could cause a much bigger problem.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070876)

You cannot return a used joint but you can return a used Wii.

Just make them return the Wii once treatment is over. You don't get to keep "free" wheelchairs after you've recovered either.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (3, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071540)

I know they're a lot cheaper than a wheelchair but the crutches and boot from when I broke my leg both stayed with me, along with a few other miscellaneous gadgets from rehab. Worker's comp paid for all of it (fell down the stairs at work so it fell under worker's comp). I'm guessing there's some cost threshold though.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070580)

I thought the same - probably less than a dozen hours of physio.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070600)

first off, its a supplement to physio, not a replacement. second, there's nothing you can do with a wii fit that you cant do without it, it's a bunch of a normal exercises. it's a nice way to help encourage kids to exercise, but he's a freaking adult, he can rehab without it just as well.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (2, Informative)

Eraesr (1629799) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070910)

Exactly. The whole exercise part of the Wii is questionable at best. Even Miyamoto himself said that it's very unlikely that Wii Fit would actually improve someone's health, but that it's a starting point, a catalyst if you will, to put people on the right track. And after the man has revalidated, does he have to turn the Wii back in? No, in fact, I think he'll be picking up a copy of Super Mario Bros and Mario Kart and "exercise" that way instead.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32071106)

I know a Physical Therapist who got a wii for her kids... She tried the Wii Fit and immediately (within a week) was commenting on how this would be really useful in a treatment scenario - and that NOTHING exists like this for the biofeedback benefits that it can provide. Just sayin - it could definitely have a place in real medical practice.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (4, Informative)

Crewdawg (1421231) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071222)

My wife works in Occupational Therapy and they utilize the Wii for hand eye coordination with people recovering from strokes, as well as other injuries. It provides immediate feedback of both fine and gross motor skills.

If there were more specific "games" designed around therapy I think there it would be a valid mechanism for treatment. I'm not sure Wii Fit and Super Mario Party are maximizing the potential.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32071576)

Exactly. The whole exercise part of the Wii is questionable at best. Even Miyamoto himself said that it's very unlikely that Wii Fit would actually improve someone's health, but that it's a starting point, a catalyst if you will, to put people on the right track.

No, Wii Fit is not a replacement for something like running or lifting weights. But it absolutely is useful for basic mobility exercises and balance training, which is what a lot of physical/rehabilitative therapy is.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070642)

I think it'd be significantly less than "a dozen hours". Last time I had to pay for physio (out of pocket and few years back, so it will most likely cost more now) it was about $AU60 for 1/2 an hour. A wii + wii fit being approximately $AU450, we'd be looking at under 4 hours of physio (really not much assuming a significant injury). Sounds like a cost effective move to me.

How can it be cheaper than FREE? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070582)

Do some jumping jacks, burpees, run , all free all the time, needs no electricity, at least twice as many calories burned as Wii

Re:How can it be cheaper than FREE? (4, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070720)

Except he doesn't need to lose weight, but to perform rehabilitation exercises. Have you even read the title?

Re:How can it be cheaper than FREE? (0)

elkstoy (930915) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070834)

Have you ever played the Wii? It really has a lot of thereputic exercises.

long term costs (1)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070922)

If the Wii keeps the person that needs physical therapy more motivated to stay in therapy, the end result will be a quicker and more complete recovery which will lead to fewer long term health costs down the road. At the point where those savings become greater than the purchase price of the Wii, buying a Wii becomes cheaper than free.

Granted, that's a big `if.' But it is not implausible.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (5, Insightful)

Kirijini (214824) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070858)

I don't get it. The man's doctor recommended he use a wii. Why shouldn't the government or insurance pay for it as part of his workers comp? If they're gunna pay for him to receive treatment, why are they making such a big fuss about something his doctor recommended?

They are spending way more money (time and resources) on fighting it than they would if they just bought the damn thing. Seriously, a Wii and a Wii Fit are equivalent dollar-wise to probably between one and two hours of lawyer-time. The cost of having various flackeys come up with reasons why not paying for the wii is the right thing to do, writing that out for the rejection letter, press releases, internal memos, etc. all adds up too.

Frankly, the AU government and/or the insurance company is wasting its money - not only in fighting the payment for a wii, but in the way it approves or rejects payments. The process should be really simple: Did the doctor recommend it? Do we have any reason to suspect the doctor? Is there a clearly less expensive substitute that still fulfills the doctor's recommendation (i.e., a Wii not custom fabricated out of gold)? Is the payment less than x (x being the cost of rejecting the payment and winning a typical subsequent legal challenge)?

All of these questions are really easy and would take up less than 5 minutes of a reviewers time. They would also weed out most fraud.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (3, Insightful)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070888)

why are they making such a big fuss about something his doctor recommended?

Because it's a game console. You can play Zelda on it. And Mario. Playing such games doesn't have anything to do with treating the man's injury. Besides (and maybe even more important) a lot of people want a game console, like a Nintendo Wii. Giving away such devices for free when people are sick is going to make a lot of people sick.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (4, Insightful)

tibit (1762298) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070948)

And you can use crutches as beating sticks, too.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (5, Funny)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070970)

Yeah, but people aren't standing in line to get crutches now, are they?

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32071410)

That's so subtle, I'm not sure you meant it. Outstanding!

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (2, Funny)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071484)

They may not be standing in line, but some of them are definitely leaning.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32071592)

No, they're sitting, of course.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070998)

Parent brings a great point that you can use medical devices for any other reason aside from its intended purpose - but the wii with wii fit is still a valid recommendation despite it. I'd mod parent up, the "Because you CAN use something for evil means it must necessarily be useless" argument is unacceptable, I'd think /.ers would be all about seeing the idiocy behind that.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (3, Insightful)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071400)

Yes and ice cream is yummy. Therefore giving it to kids that have had their tonsils out will make more kids have tonsillitis.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (0, Troll)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071006)

If a doctor(never mind whether the doctor is reputable, he is a doctor) recommends that I do heroin to help with my stubbed toe, should the government and insurance companies pay for it, simply because some doctor says that it would help rehabilitate me? All that your plan would do is increase doctor shopping. People would stop going to actual doctors and would go to fly-by-night doctors in order to get a cheap Wii. It would actually increase fraud, not weed out most of it.

Any exercise that this man could do on a Wii Fit is an exercise he could do without it. If he ends up getting one, I can only hope he is forced to give it back once he has been fully rehabilitated.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (4, Interesting)

RKThoadan (89437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071154)

Have you ever used/played Wii Fit? Depending on the exercise I'm quite sure you can't get a similar amount of reliable feedback from anything other than medical grade equipment. It tracks your center of balance precisely and can tell you if your doing the exercises correctly. Sure, you can do the exercises without it, but you can't get that reliable feedback on how well your doing. Depending on what kind of rehab he needs that feedback could be vital.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32071450)

Have you ever used/played Wii Fit? Depending on the exercise I'm quite sure you can't get a similar amount of reliable feedback from anything other than medical grade equipment.

Yes I have. I have owned a Wii Fit since day 1 of it's release. The feedback it gives has minimal uses and certainly isn't anything that can't be done without. The only thing the Wii Fit would be helpful for is having something of a virtual trainer to pace your workout. In fact, that personal trainer isn't worth a damn because it can't give you feedback on your form or posture. It can only tell if your center of balance is right.

I'm with the government on this one. If there's a need for low cast at-home virtual rehabilitation systems, perhaps the market should make some?

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071602)

That's actually a good point. I broke my leg pretty severely back in 2002, and as a result had to go through about 4 weeks (visiting 3x per week for about 2 hours) of rehabilitation after it healed. This was pre-Wii by a little bit, but one of the things the rehab center had for me to use was a balance machine that had me put varying levels of pressure on the affected leg and would give alarms and such if you weren't doing it right. Looking back, it's not all that different from what the Wii does.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (4, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071180)

If a doctor(never mind whether the doctor is reputable, he is a doctor) recommends that I do heroin to help with my stubbed toe, should the government and insurance companies pay for it, simply because some
doctor says that it would help rehabilitate me?

Yes. I don't see why insurance companies should be in the business of deciding who needs what treatment. That's what the doctors are for. If a doctor finds that a somewhat unusual method gets the right results cheaply, then that's fine with me.

Now, if the doctor is prescribing the wrong things, or for the wrong reasons, go after the doctor and revoke their license.

Any exercise that this man could do on a Wii Fit is an exercise he could do without it. If he ends up getting one, I can only hope he is forced to give it back once he has been fully rehabilitated.

You're saying it as if the alternative to the Wii was simply no Wii. No, the alternative would be a licensed therapist, who probably charges per hour a significant part of the cost of a new Wii + Wii Fit. So the Wii, if it works is actually by far the cheapest option.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071188)

If you have problems with using other types of painkillers you may end up using heroin.

There are people that may be oversensitive to the common types or suffer from conditions/medications that makes the alternatives impossible.

As for using a Wii Fit - it may be that it's easier to get a record of doing the exercise correct. And if the Wii is a tenth of the price of a custom adapted equipment it's probably easier to subsidize the Wii than to go through all the custom adaptations needed for a customized unit.

Relate the price of a Wii fit to the cost wasted to adapt any kind of custom support device and you can figure out the reasoning from the doctor.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070896)

Sad but true. I wish I could remember the article where someone used a $30 wiimote (or something) in place of a $1000+ specialized device.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (2, Interesting)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071208)

I have used a Wiimote together with a Windows Mobile device to collect data in a mobile solution. Inspection of railroad ties.

1500 button presses per kilometer. And the Wiimote has a decent ergonomic design.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (2, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070954)

Exactly! This is a very cheap "out". Look at all the money spent on those ridiculous "scooters" from the Scooter Store and similar soak-the-insurance schemes.

Re:It's probably cheaper than the alternatives (2, Insightful)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071596)

Heck the doctor probably billed more while recommending it.

For all the people whinging about the cost if it replaces just one session of therapy its already saved money. I had knee surgery due to an injury at work and my Physical therapy sessions cost more than a Wii ($240/two hour sessions)

And for the rental theory. If rental was required the suppliers would charge more for rent of a Wii in a couple of months then the total cost of a new unit. That I can guarantee.

On one condition: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070568)

Modify it so that it will play only the required "rehabilitation" software.

No! Come back when it's been medical-ized (4, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070576)

It's not medical equipment unless it's covered in ugly, pink "medical grade" plastic and exposed polished stainless steel tubes. Also, it must have an impossible-to-clean membrane keypad. And cost four thousand dollars, and can only be rented for one thousand dollars a month.

Then and only then should the government pay for his rehabilitation tool.

Re:No! Come back when it's been medical-ized (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070606)

You forgot the $65/hr tech (tech actually gets $15, $50 to business guys) that has to come out and operate it.

Re:No! Come back when it's been medical-ized (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070672)

It's not medical equipment unless it's covered in ugly, pink "medical grade" plastic and exposed polished stainless steel tubes. Also, it must have an impossible-to-clean membrane keypad. And cost four thousand dollars, and can only be rented for one thousand dollars a month.

Then and only then should the government pay for his rehabilitation tool.

I got some "medical grade" stuff that would help with his recovery, dude. And man, it like totally fits in your pocket. It's pretty dank.

Re:No! Come back when it's been medical-ized (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070920)

Ah Great! now I'll have to go buy a new sarcasm detector :(

Are you British or something?

Re:No! Come back when it's been medical-ized (2)

tibit (1762298) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070962)

The problem with medical devices is that their safety is covered by a bunch of international standards. Those things are pretty disgusting reads, and I guess the engineers show their, um, lack of appreciation of the literary quality of the standards in the design of the devices.

The truth is, you can make beautiful medical devices, yes, even those that have embedded processing in them. I think, for example, that GE's patient monitors have some slick industrial design.

They should make a special Wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070598)

They should make a medical Wii. One that works fine for the rehabilitation period but that quickly loses its novelty and people soon get tired of. They should ensure that no good games can be played on it and that the only things worthwhile are the included discs with the rest being games for other consoles with a poorly integrated UI. Oh wait, Nintendo's already one step ahead of us...

Yes, and no. (4, Insightful)

Phoenix (2762) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070612)

Since the Doctor suggested the Wii Fit, then I have no problems with the idea of the Government pay for the Wii Fit. If this were in the US, then I would agree that the Insurance company pay for it.

HOWEVER!

Since the Wii can be used for more than just the physical fitness applications, the Wii itself should not be paid for.

Re:Yes, and no. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070634)

Why? That person may have no interest in Wii gaming. I'm not sure whether they should pay or not but I think it should be for the whole thing or not at all.

Re:Yes, and no. (5, Insightful)

clemdoc (624639) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070648)

If I break a leg, I get crutches (if necessary)[1]. After I don't need them anymore, I have to give them back or pay for them. Same thing for the wii -> problem solved.
[1] In Austria. YMMV

Re:Yes, and no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070812)

My wife and I were taking care of a child in foster care and got a Hippo car seat because he broke one of his legs. Several months later, he's healed and going to his aunt's house to live, but we have this oversized car seat and no one knows what we should do with it. This thing also runs over $1K. 6 months later we give it to my mother-in-law who works for a hospital for them to us.

Re:Yes, and no. (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071158)

If I break a leg, I get crutches (if necessary)[1]. After I don't need them anymore, I have to give them back or pay for them. Same thing for the wii -> problem solved.

Medical devices designed to be transferred among many different people are made of specific materials that can be cleaned or have parts replaced.

Re:Yes, and no. (1)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071452)

Actually they never ask for crutches back here. Sad to say but it would probably cost more to maintain and control an inventory of crutches than to just give new ones every time.

Re:Yes, and no. (2, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070656)

There's a lot of physical therapy equipment that is basically light exercise equipment, and can certainly be used to good effect by healthy people. Should the government or insurance companies refuse to pay for it on that basis? Look, the guy's physician prescribed it, and as other posters have pointed out, it's a lot cheaper than sessions with an actual therapist. Its other uses are irrelevant. This case sounds to me a lot more like a politician trying to score points than any real debate over cost-effective medical care.

Re:Yes, and no. (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070710)

" the guy's physician prescribed it, and as other posters have pointed out, it's a lot cheaper than sessions with an actual therapist"

doctors recommend lots of things, it doesn't mean we as the tax payer have to foot the bill for it. while sessions with a pyshio are more expensive, they will also be a lot more effective and get this bozo off disability faster. we are already paying for him to do nothing, paying for his fucking wii is adding insult to injury.

I can't believe you can't smell the bullshit that this reeks of.

Re:Yes, and no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070826)

So, you'd rather pay for the already approved $25,000 medical equipment that would normally be used instead of a $200 WII. This issue has come up before.

Re:Yes, and no. (1)

phoebus1553 (522577) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070840)

/Agree, pay for the game and whatever hardware it takes specifically for the game.

Buying the game could be analogous to paying for the gym membership and buying the Wii to building the gym. And besides, there's a fairly good chance that any random person already has a Wii.

Re:Yes, and no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070878)

The Wii isn't designed for rehab. It's an entertainment device that this Doctor just happens to think might help.

It should not be paid for. This also opens a door I'm sure neither the government or the insurance companies want open. I can see it now... "But I need my PS3 to help me deal with the effects of PTSD and only MW2 can help with that!"

Rehaib hospital push (2, Interesting)

mudpup (14555) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070628)

Broke my hip on the ice this winter. When I was in rehab they got me up and forced me to play a stupid bowling game on the wii. I hate video games! They seem to think anything that motivates you to get up and be more active is a good thing. ( Oklahoma, USA)

Re:Rehaib hospital push (4, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070734)

I hate video games!

So what? You don't have to score points, just perform the motion and ignore the "game".

Re:Rehaib hospital push (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070798)

" They seem to think anything that motivates you to get up and be more active is a good thing."

As long as it doesn't hurt you, it -is- a good thing.

However, that obviously didn't motivate you and they were wrong to force it. They should have given you the old boring, tedious rehab style instead.

Re:Rehaib hospital push (5, Funny)

Kozz (7764) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071220)

Broke my hip on the ice this winter. When I was in rehab they got me up and forced me to play a stupid bowling game on the wii. I hate video games! They seem to think anything that motivates you to get up and be more active is a good thing. ( Oklahoma, USA)

You could probably get equivalent exercise by chasing the neighborhood kids from your lawn.

Re:Rehaib hospital push (1)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071306)

No that's silly.

He needs a kid holding a Wii that will threaten to make him play it if he doesn't start moving around.

He hates Wii. Wii hates him. Everybody happy. Problem solved.

Revalidation... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070650)

... needs the help of trained kinesists, not of a game.
When badly injured, you should be doing exactly the exercises needed to cure the injury. Not less, not more.
I've had a badly injured knee, and after the surgery, I had to spend a whole year, 3 times 2 hours a week, pushing weights in the hospital gym, supervised be a kinesist.

How can a game tell you what's best for you? And, apart from making it more fun, why do you need images on a TV screen to do your exercises?

So no. His medical costs (including hospital gym) should be reimbursed. Not a gaming console.

Let's put it in perspective... (2, Interesting)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070662)

The Wii can be used for things other than rehabilitation. Once his rehab is finished, should he be able to keep his Wii, or should the government be able to auction it off to recover some of the costs?

And why not going to the kinesitherapist ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070666)

Well in my country for rehabilitation we just go to see a kinesitherapist... And it's probably cheaper than buying a wii. (OK, we even pay nothing in France)

Maybe in a very remote place far away of doctors it can make sense, but kinesitherapists know what special exercice you need to do, and check you are not injuring yourself more by making dangerous gestures... Wii Fit was not made for this purpose, this looks dangerous to me.

Re:And why not going to the kinesitherapist ?? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070690)

I got free physiotherapy from the Royal Melbourne Hospital but they gave me home work as well. Maybe some doctors or phyios would recommend that some patients try exercising on the wii.

Stay indoors Tim (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070682)

On the other side is WorkCover Minister Tim Holding

It was Tim Holding who got himself lost [smh.com.au] back country skiing in rather stupid circumstances last winter. So its wrong for him to oppose paying for a gadget which will get a recovering patient moving without risking his life.

Maybe Mr Jones from Coburg (hey! he's almost a neighbour) should throw himself off Mt Feathertop for exercise.

And Tim, try Lake Mountain. Believe me its your more speed. Harder to get lost.

umm no. (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070688)

you don't need a wii to perform rehab exercises. What this idiot should do is go see a physio so he is shown the CORRECT exercises.

Re:umm no. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070918)

What this idiot should do is go see a physio so he is shown the CORRECT exercises.

Unless the physio realizes that the CORRECT exercises happen to be the same exercises on the Wii Fit disc.

Porn Industry's Contribution to the console market (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070694)

A new contraption cumming to stores near you. The Wii-Nii. WARNING: Please read the directions prior to use or injury could occur. Not responsible for increased grip strength as a result from increased usage. Your mileage may vary.

Shouldn't the Government pay for everything? (1)

ZHaDoom (65485) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070696)

Shouldn't the Government pay for everything?

Re:Shouldn't the Government pay for everything? (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071544)

Yes, kind of. Government shouldn't micromanage. Just give the guy a lump sum or a payment schedule and let him figure out what to do with it. Unfortunately, there are just enough idiots out there who can't handle that level of freedom to wreck the system for the rest of us.

Better than one of those expensive devices... (4, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070702)

Hey, it’s better than the $15000 a “officially accepted” device would cost, that would do the same job.
I say, it is completely irrelevant what the device was “supposed to be’. What counts is:
1. Did it help him?
2. Was it not pointlessly expensive?
And as it looks like that’s a yes, and a yes, I say: If you’d pay a “official” device, of course it should be paid. And you should be thankful that he didn’t take the $15000 device. ^^

Re:Better than one of those expensive devices... (0, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071020)

show me this $15,000 device. oh i see there's no such thing, all he needs is light exercise he can get for FREE without any equipment, much less a fucking stupid wii.

Re:Better than one of those expensive devices... (1)

RKThoadan (89437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071254)

What he can't get for free is the biofeedback that Wii fit provides. It does extremely well at teaching you to do the exercises correctly. A therapist can show you how to do it right a few times and watch you while you are in for therapy. The Wii is "watching" every single thing and providing you constant feedback on how well you are doing.

No, the government shouldn't pay. (4, Insightful)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070718)

Because the man can do the same exercises without the Wii, without the game.

Wii Fit is like a cheap personal trainer/motivator. No competent doctor is going to recommend it as a full replacement for a rehabilitation therapist. But they may recommend it as healthy, daily exercise. The same thing can be accomplished by handing the man a pamphlet, except Wii Fit motivates better.

Yes, Wii Fit should be recommended to motivate patients. No, a government shouldn't pay for this "extra motivation".

Re:No, the government shouldn't pay. (2, Interesting)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070784)

I agree. But the insurance company could offer a rental service, if he really only wants it for rehab.

Re:No, the government shouldn't pay. (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070814)

I sort of agree with you, but playing Devil's advocate for a moment... The same motions that you go through at a "rehabilitation therapist" can be done without one as well, but they still pay for those when appropriate.

I'm actually okay with the device being a loaner that is owned by the hospital/doctor, and is expected to be returned in full working order after rehab is done. I'm not okay with the government/insurance buying him a video game machine to keep.

Re:No, the government shouldn't pay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32071248)

I would be upset if I heard that a friend of mine was using the Wii Fit for rehabilitation. I've seen him playing the game and his form is so horrible I think he's going to hurt himself. The game can show you how you're supposed to do it, and it can guess if you're doing it right based on the weight of one foot or the other, but when it comes to potentially reinjuring yourself, I don't know why someone (with insurance) would choose a Wii Fit over a real person.

Re:No, the government shouldn't pay. (1)

esaulgd (1754886) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070946)

Because the man can do the same exercises without the Wii, without the game.
Wii Fit is like a cheap personal trainer/motivator.
The same thing can be accomplished by handing the man a pamphlet, except Wii Fit motivates better.

Not true. First, the balance board gives you advice on your balance and posture while you do the exercises. Second, the level of instruction would be comparable, if anything, to an interactive and customizable video, not a pamphlet. Third, the game provides immediate tracking and feedback, which are instrumental for learning new skills and routines. You may call the last point "extra motivation", but that's like not giving someone a calculator because they can do math by hand.

that and he sounds like he is milking the system (2, Informative)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070950)

he hasn't been to work in four years on the claim that every time he tries to go to work he has panic attacks.

http://www.news.com.au/business/business-smarts/lib-mp-gordon-rich-phillips-wanted-workcover-to-pay-for-wii/story-e6frfm9r-1225861036146 [news.com.au]

Complicated case? Sorry, but people like this need to either be committed or told to grow a pair.

He certainly does not need a Wi to exercise.

Re:No, the government shouldn't pay. (2, Informative)

tancque (925227) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070960)

I don't agree. The balance board gives you feedback about the exercise. It shows you if you use to much force or warns you if your balance is not correct. If you handle a person a pamphlet, you run the risk of him screwing up the exercise so much he can injure himself. It is not only motivation. An earlier post mentioned that the Wii fit equipment should be paid for by the government, but not the wii itself. That seems to be a good compromise.

What a waste of money! (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070756)

Cried the lazy worthless tax-payer funded pencil pushing parasites, as they faked up inflated expenses claims for wear and tear on their "DENIED" rubber stamps.

Might be usefull in certain scenarios (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32070762)

Although I disagree that somebody else should pay for his Wii (fit), unless they take it back after he recovered. There can be some benefit to things like the Wii when recovering from certain injuries.

After I had recovered from an ankle injury, my ankle was extremely weak, making normal exercise pretty much impossible so my orthopaedic specialist told me to do special exercises to reinforce them before attempting any normal exercises in which I put strain on my ankles. The Wii fit turned out to be a great tool for this as a lot of balance exercises seem to strenghten your ankles and as they're minigames you really get bored with them after a minute of 10.

Of course in some case it might be ridiculous to use the Wii instead of real recovery, but when you need to focus on your ankles I think it's a pretty good tool.

Our politicians don't understand tech (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070766)

I think it's mandatory here in Australia that you be absolutely fucking clueless about technology to stand for election. If you know so much as how to switch on a mobile phone, you're out!

No, he shouldn't get it paid for. (4, Interesting)

YojimboJango (978350) | more than 3 years ago | (#32070842)

The doctor recommended that I cure my overweightness + bad knees with a elliptical machine (told me to quit running, it's bad for me). Insurance will not pay for the $3000 machine, nor will it pay for a gym membership.

Doctors recommend things that you should do on your own. Doctors prescribe things that are necessary. His doctor only recommended a Wii, he did not prescribe one.

Also stupid because the court case is gonna cost way more than the $300 a wii with wii fit would cost.

Australia politicians just don't like video games (1)

cheatch (1713998) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071140)

What's up with Australian politician's hard on for video games? They afraid everyone will stop going outside or something?

The Doctor recommended it (3, Funny)

cstacy (534252) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071186)

So did the Doctor modify this Wii with a sonic screwdriver, or is it just a stock game console?

implying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32071586)

implying that the wii has gaems

Universal Healthcare (0, Troll)

IdiotBoy (5883) | more than 3 years ago | (#32071600)

Not to put too fine a point on it, but these are the kind of debates in which you are forced to engage if you treat "health care" as a right.

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