WorkSafeNB reported one of its best financial periods in a decade last quarter as the agency's claim payouts fell by millions of dollars and investment returns soared.

The provincial agency’s third quarter report states expenses for the latest financial period were $16.6 million lower than budgeted.

WorkSafeNB’s claim costs were also $13.3 million below the agency's original budget.

Total claims dropped by 2.7 per cent compared to 2011 and the number of paid compensation days for injured workers with a return to work goal was also below the 2012 target.

si-nb-wecker-doctor-220

Dr. Barry Wecker said he's tired of his medical advice being overruled by WorkSafeNB officials. (CBC)

The agency’s investment portfolio gained 7.89 per cent as of September 2012.

The solid financial returns means the corporation is overfunded at 121 per cent, its best performance in years.

Sharon Tucker, the chairperson of WorkSafeNB, has continued to decline the CBC's request for an interview on tape.

CBC News has also been asking to speak to the chairperson of the Appeals Tribunal, which overturns hundreds of WorkSafeNB decisions every year. The vast majority of those decisions have gone in favour of injured workers.

The tribunal is supposed to be independent of WorkSafeNB, but CBC News has been told Tucker must approve an interview with the tribunal chairperson.

So far, Tucker has not agreed to allow that.

A shroud of controversy has been hanging over the provincial agency in recent days.

Several injured workers and medical professionals have spoken publicly about problems with WorkSafeNB.

Dr. Richard Dumais, head of the Dr. Georges-L-Dumont University Hospital's pain clinic, said the chronic denial of medical services has become a human rights issue and he has been calling for political action.