A-67457, DECEMBER 3, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 474

A-67457: Dec 3, 1935

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MEDICAL TREATMENT - EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION BENEFICIARIES - PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE SURGEON A PHYSICIAN APPOINTED AT AN ANNUAL SALARY AS ACTING ASSISTANT SURGEON OF THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE IS A MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7. IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAY FOR MEDICAL SERVICES RENDERED A BENEFICIARY OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION IRRESPECTIVE OF THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH HE WAS PRIMARILY APPOINTED. AS FOLLOWS: THE COMMISSION IS IN RECEIPT OF A VOUCHER FROM DR. BEFORE DEFINITE ACTION IS TAKEN BY THE COMMISSION. YOUR DECISION IS DESIRED AS TO WHETHER DR. KUHNS IS A MEDICAL OFFICER WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 9 OF THE COMPENSATION ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7.

A-67457, DECEMBER 3, 1935, 15 COMP. GEN. 474

MEDICAL TREATMENT - EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION BENEFICIARIES - PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE SURGEON A PHYSICIAN APPOINTED AT AN ANNUAL SALARY AS ACTING ASSISTANT SURGEON OF THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE IS A MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916, 39 STAT. 743, AND IS NOT ENTITLED TO PAY FOR MEDICAL SERVICES RENDERED A BENEFICIARY OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION IRRESPECTIVE OF THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH HE WAS PRIMARILY APPOINTED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE CHAIRMAN, UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION COMMISSION, DECEMBER 3, 1935:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF NOVEMBER 5, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

THE COMMISSION IS IN RECEIPT OF A VOUCHER FROM DR. J. M. KUHNS COVERING MEDICAL SERVICES RENDERED JOHN H. GRIFFITH, A BENEFICIARY OF THE COMMISSION WHO SUSTAINED AN INJURY ON AUGUST 9, 1935. BEFORE DEFINITE ACTION IS TAKEN BY THE COMMISSION, YOUR DECISION IS DESIRED AS TO WHETHER DR. KUHNS IS A MEDICAL OFFICER WITHIN THE MEANING OF SECTION 9 OF THE COMPENSATION ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916. THERE ARE ENCLOSED HEREWITH FOR YOUR INFORMATION COPIES OF LETTERS OF APPOINTMENT OF DR. KUHNS AS AN ACTING ASSISTANT SURGEON OF THE U.S. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE. FROM THE INFORMATION CONTAINED THEREIN, IT APPEARS THAT DR. KUHNS'S EMPLOYMENT IS ONLY IN A PARTICULAR FIELD, THAT OF A QUARANTINE INSPECTOR IN CONNECTION WITH THE ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE OF BOATS AT AHUKINI, HAWAII.

YOUR DECISION IS, THEREFORE, REQUESTED AS TO WHETHER THE COMMISSION MAY PAY DR. KUHNS AS A PRIVATE PHYSICIAN UNDER SECTION 9 OF THE COMPENSATION ACT FOR SERVICE RENDERED IN THIS CASE.

IT APPEARS THAT DR. KUHNS WAS APPOINTED AS ACTING ASSISTANT SURGEON IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE UPON RECOMMENDATION OF THE SURGEON GENERAL UNDER DATE OF FEBRUARY 25, 1921, ON A FEE BASIS FOR THE INSPECTION OF VESSELS AT THE PORT OF AHUKINI, KAUAI, TERRITORY OF HAWAII, AND THAT ON AUGUST 11, 1928, HIS COMPENSATION WAS CHANGED BY DIRECTION OF THE SURGEON GENERAL, AS FOLLOWS: A.A. SURGEON J. M. KUHNS,

U.S. QUARANTINE STATION, LIHUE, KAUAI, HAWAII. THROUGH: CHIEF QUARANTINE OFFICER, HONOLULU, HAWAII.

SIR: YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THE DEPARTMENT HAS APPROVED A CHANGE IN YOUR COMPENSATION FROM A FEE BASIS OF $10.00 EACH SAILING VESSEL INSPECTED; $15.00 EACH STEAM VESSEL INSPECTED; AND $5.00 EACH FUMIGATION TO $150.00 PER ANNUM EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 1, 1928.

SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF SEPTEMBER 7, 1916, 39 STAT. 743, PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

THAT IMMEDIATELY AFTER AN INJURY SUSTAINED BY AN EMPLOYEE WHILE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS DUTY, WHETHER OR NOT DISABILITY HAS ARISEN, AND FOR A REASONABLE TIME THEREAFTER, THE UNITED STATES SHALL FURNISH TO SUCH EMPLOYEE REASONABLE MEDICAL, SURGICAL, AND HOSPITAL SERVICES AND SUPPLIES UNLESS HE REFUSES TO ACCEPT THEM. SUCH SERVICES AND SUPPLIES SHALL BE FURNISHED BY UNITED STATES MEDICAL OFFICERS AND HOSPITALS, BUT WHERE THIS IS NOT PRACTICABLE SHALL BE FURNISHED BY PRIVATE PHYSICIANS AND HOSPITALS DESIGNATED OR APPROVED BY THE COMMISSION AND PAID FOR FROM THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION FUND. * * *

ACTING ASSISTANT SURGEONS WHOSE COMPENSATION EXCEEDS $540 PER ANNUM ARE REQUIRED, PRELIMINARY TO APPOINTMENT IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, TO PASS AN EXAMINATION UNDER RULES PRESCRIBED BY THE UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, BUT ACTING ASSISTANT SURGEONS WHOSE COMPENSATION IS $540 PER ANNUM, OR LESS, ARE APPOINTED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE SURGEON GENERAL OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE. PARAGRAPHS 93 AND 94, REGULATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE (1931). THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1919, 40 STAT. 1302 (24 U.S.C. 26) (SEE, ALSO, PAGE 218 OF THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE REGULATIONS, 1913, WHERE THE ACT IS PUBLISHED IN FULL), DESCRIBES THE BENEFICIARIES OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE AS---

* * * MERCHANT MARINE SEAMEN, SEAMEN ON BOATS OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER COMMISSION, OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD, OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, CERTAIN KEEPERS AND ASSISTANT KEEPERS OF THE UNITED STATES LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE, SEAMEN OF THE ENGINEER CORPS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY, OFFICERS AND ENLISTED MEN OF THE UNITED STATES COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY, CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES ENTITLED TO TREATMENT UNDER THE UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT, AND EMPLOYEES ON ARMY TRANSPORTS NOT OFFICERS OR ENLISTED MEN OF THE ARMY, NOW ENTITLED BY LAW TO TREATMENT BY THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE.

(SEE, ALSO, PARS. 603 AND 650-652 OF THE REGULATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE, AND PAGE 209 OF THE REGULATIONS, WHERE SECS. 9, 21, AND 22 OF THE EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT ARE PUBLISHED.)

PARAGRAPHS 434 AND 435 OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH REGULATIONS PROVIDE:

434. A STATION OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE IS A PLACE WHERE AN OFFICER, AGENT, OR OTHER EMPLOYEE OF THE SERVICE IS ON DUTY TO PERFORM THE FUNCTIONS OF THE SERVICE OR WHERE AN OFFICER OF THE CUSTOMS SERVICE IS SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED TO EXTEND RELIEF TO CERTAIN BENEFICIARIES OF THE SERVICE. * * *

435. FIELD STATIONS OF THE SERVICE SHALL BE DESIGNATED AS FOLLOWS:

(B) RELIEF STATIONS WHICH ARE PLACES FORMALLY DESIGNATED BY THE SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY FOR THE GRANTING OF MEDICAL RELIEF OR PHYSICAL EXAMINATION TO BENEFICIARIES OF THE SERVICE. THEY ARE CLASSIFIED AS FOLLOWS:

THIRD CLASS. RELIEF STATIONS UNDER CHARGE OF AN ACTING ASSISTANT SURGEON.

(C) QUARANTINE STATIONS * * *.

A PHYSICIAN APPOINTED AT AN ANNUAL SALARY AS ACTING ASSISTANT SURGEON OF THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE--- A SERVICE BY LAW REQUIRED TO AFFORD TREATMENT TO "CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES ENTITLED TO TREATMENT UNDER THE UNITED STATES EMPLOYEES' COMPENSATION ACT"--- IS A MEDICAL OFFICER OF THE UNITED STATES AND, WHERE PRACTICABLE, IS REQUIRED TO TREAT SUCH CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AS A PART OF HIS REGULAR DUTIES AND WITHOUT ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION THEREFOR, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH HE IS PRIMARILY APPOINTED AN ACTING ASSISTANT SURGEON OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE. SEE A-53206, MARCH 9, 1934.

YOU ARE ADVISED THAT BY REASON OF HIS STATUS AS AN ACTING ASSISTANT SURGEON IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE SECTION 9 OF THE COMPENSATION ACT PRECLUDES PAYMENT TO DR. KUHNS AS A PRIVATE PHYSICIAN FOR MEDICAL SERVICES RENDERED A BENEFICIARY OF THE COMMISSION WHO SUSTAINED AN INJURY ON AUGUST 9, 1935.