INDEPENDENT NEWS

Injury Prevention & Rehabilitation Bill Amendments

Published: Fri 7 Sep 2001 10:07 AM
New Zealand First Amendments To Injury Prevention And Rehabilitation Bill
New Zealand First ACC Spokesperson, Peter Brown, is proposing five changes to the proposed Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Bill currently being debated in Parliament under urgency.
The five proposed amendments would, if passed:
- Compensate students who are injured in part-time employment for both costs and for future earnings lost.
- Allow patients to sue health providers for medical misadventure.
- Allow employers to voluntarily take out insurance policies for casual employees
- Create an office of “ ACC Commissioner”, to oversee complaints from employees and claimants.
- Prohibit claims from people who are injured whilst committing a crime.
All proposals are in the form of a Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) and will therefore be debated individually.
“These changes are logical, and they are fair,” said Mr Brown. “They will make the Bill consistent with Natural Justice, and will eliminate the numerous anomalies that New Zealand First sees in the Bill.”
“The SOP that allows for students to be compensated for future earnings will close an anomaly under the present system whereby students who are injured whilst working in a part-time job may not be compensated for anything other than the job they were performing when they were injured; clearly that it not fair to them and we hope to amend that.
“The change proposed that will allow patients to sue health providers comes in part as a reaction to the terrible treatment that the patients of Dr Botterill and the victims of the “bad blood’ scandal.
“Patients who are injured during their treatment or subjected to medical incompetence are prohibited from seeking personal damages. Under the changes we are proposing they will be able to sue for their damages and future earnings.
“The position of ACC Commissioner comes from a recommendation by the New Zealand Law Society that was proposed to the Select Committee, but seems to have been overlooked by the present government.
“ Any MP can tell you that they spend a large part of their electorate time dealing with complaints regarding ACC. By its very nature the interpretation of damages and compensation is a difficult and timely exercise. Clearly there is need for some impartial third party to remedy this situation.
“The last SOP that we are proposing will mean that people who are injured whilst committing a crime may not claim ACC. It is ridiculous to think that a burglar who twists his ankle in the act of breaking into a property is currently fully entitled to compensation.
“The measure would take effect as soon as a person has been charged with an offence. If it is found that they are innocent then they would then be able to claim ACC,” concluded Mr Brown.
ENDS

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