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ACC Briefing To Incoming Minister Released

4 September 2002

ACC Briefing To Incoming Minister Released

New Zealand’s accident compensation scheme continues to reflect the original principles drawn up by Sir Owen Woodhouse in 1974, ACC Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

Releasing the ACC briefing to the incoming minister, Ms Dyson said the five Woodhouse principles are community responsibility, comprehensive entitlement, complete rehabilitation, real compensation and administrative efficiency.

“Injury prevention is ACC’s top priority, in order to reduce both the social and financial cost of injuries to the community. ACC is currently working with other government agencies to develop a New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy, which will be released for public consultation later this year. This strategy will help ACC achieve its goal of a 10 per cent reduction in injuries by 2008.”

Ruth Dyson said early rehabilitation is the key to independence for people who are injured.

“Given appropriate rehabilitation, most claimants can and do return to their pre-injury employment and level of independence. More proactive claim management, lower case management loads and better access to treatment services have led to a significant reduction in the average length of time claimants require support from ACC.”

Ms Dyson said ACC is looking to further improve claimant satisfaction in 2002/2003, following a survey that showed 73 per cent of claimants were satisfied with the way their claim was handled, and 77 per cent were satisfied with their case managers.

“ACC has initiated a nationwide claimant satisfaction improvement system, which is receiving very positive feedback. The corporation is also developing a code setting out claimants’ rights, including the right to be treated with dignity and respect, in a fair and timely way, when dealing with ACC. The code is intended to help restore some of the faith people have lost in the system over the last decade.”

Ruth Dyson said ACC’s other priorities include a comprehensive review of medical misadventure, and a whole-of-government approach to provide better services for claimants and reduce the incidence and severity of accidents.

The briefing paper is available on the ACC website: www.acc.co.nz/about-acc/press-releases/index.html

Ends

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