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NZers Exposed To Risk Under National’s ACC

27 June 2002

New Zealanders Exposed To Risk Under National’s ACC

“A comprehensive accident compensation scheme can only be guaranteed by retaining ACC as the sole provider of accident cover,” says ACC Minister Lianne Dalziel.

She was responding to National’s announcement that it would privatise all of ACC’s accounts.

“This will sound the death knell for 24-hour no-fault cover and for ACC’s role in injury prevention, rehabilitation and compensation and should ring alarm bells in the minds of all registered health professionals in the country,” Lianne Dalziel said.

Under this government, the average cost of employer levies has dropped from $1.25 to 0.85 cents per $100 dollar of payroll.

“As a result of this government’s reforms, New Zealand has been cushioned against the impact of world-wide hikes in insurance premiums as a result of the fall-out from 11 September as well as from the failure of private work-place insurers like HIH in Australia.

“During the period of competitive insurance provision under National, HIH held 40 per cent of this country’s work-place cover.

“National seems to have learnt nothing from the collapse of the largest private medical insurer in Australia, United Medical Protection. In that instance Australia faced a virtual shut-down of every high-risk medical and surgical service in the country because specialists were effectively without cover.

“This led to the Australian Government having to step in and provide back-up cover in what was essentially a crisis created by the collapse of the private insurer.

“National has a mantra of privatisation, competition and private insurance. New Zealand knows through its experience that sole provision by ACC is the most cost-effective mechanism for providing comprehensive accident cover – a fact acknowledged by financial experts,” Lianne Dalziel said.


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