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What Accident? - ACC Minister

What accident?

"Employer pressure on workers and doctors not to report accidents has been highlighted yet again at last night's ACC Select Committee hearings," says Associated ACC Minister Ruth Dyson.

Health Care Aotearoa, a national network of 30 primary health services covering mainly low-income areas, gave evidence to the committee of:

 employers denying that accidents occurred in their workplaces;

 employers putting pressure on medical staff and patients not to report workplace accidents;

 and patients fearful of their employer's reactions if a workplace accident were reported.

"Similar concerns of under-reporting of accidents have been raised time and time again in the submissions to the committee. These submissions reveal a fundamental flaw in the current private insurance schemes.

"Effective injury prevention measures must be at the heart of any accident compensation scheme in order to reduce the financial cost as well as the social cost. Inevitably, any scheme which creates incentives for employers and insurers to hide injuries rather than prevent them will in the long run cost the country dearly.

"This alone is a compelling reason for abandoning the private market model.

"The committee has also heard much evidence to support the need to move on from the old ACC scheme. That scheme also failed to deliver sufficiently in the crucial areas of injury prevention and rehabilitation. It had been operating during the 1990s in an environment where corporate costs were put before the needs of injured people. That has to be reversed," says Ms Dyson.


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