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Wii Australia Government Medicine Games

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

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:08AM (#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.

  • Stay indoors Tim (Score:3, Informative)

    by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:14AM (#32070682) Homepage Journal

    On the other side is WorkCover Minister Tim Holding

    It was Tim Holding who got himself lost [] 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.

  • by icebraining ( 1313345 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:26AM (#32070720) Homepage

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, 2010 @07:35AM (#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.

  • by Eraesr ( 1629799 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @08:03AM (#32070910) Homepage
    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.
  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @08:11AM (#32070950) Homepage Journal

    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. []

    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.

  • by tancque ( 925227 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @08:13AM (#32070960) Journal
    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.
  • by Crewdawg ( 1421231 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @08:58AM (#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.

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @09:35AM (#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.

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Monday May 03, 2010 @10:00AM (#32071846)

    In this case the stairs had had water tracked in from it raining outside that hadn't been cleaned up. When coming down the stairs when you don't even know it's been raining, hitting a soaking wet stair and your foot slipping isn't exactly too far fetched. There was no lawsuit. Worker's comp picked up the tab because THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET INJURED AT WORK.

    Thanks for playing though!

  • I use one (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, 2010 @12:31PM (#32073806)

    I use a Wii and Balance board with the Wii-Fit program, it helps with balance/COG issues.
    About once a month I go to a rehab center and use a medical grade system with a therapist
    overseeing. A one hour session there costs far more the the whole Wii system. Without
    the Wii, they would want me in the rehab center every week. So it saves a lot of money.

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