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New law speeds up ACC claims

1 August 2005

New law speeds up ACC claims

ACC claimants are benefitting from a new law that makes it simpler for patients to get cover when injured during medical treatment, ACC Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

Legislation replacing ACC medical misadventure rules with a new category of treatment injury came into force on 1 July 2005.

Ms Dyson said the previous requirement to find either fault, or rarity and severity, had no place in the ACC scheme.

“The new process is much fairer, simpler and quicker. Three claims were accepted in the first week, one of which might not have got ACC cover at all under the old legislation. Another would have taken months to resolve under the old rules. Instead, the claimant got access to ACC rehabilitation and compensation entitlements within 10 days of the claim being lodged.”

Ruth Dyson said quick turnaround of claims was in keeping with the intent of the ACC scheme because early, effective rehabilitation led to the best possible rehabilitation.

Although the new rules simplify the claims process, Ms Dyson said ACC cover was not available just because someone got a treatment outcome that differed from the one they expected.

“Treatment injury cover is intended for injuries that are abnormal, unusual or exceptional, having regard to a patient’s particular circumstances. There still has to be a personal injury, and a direct causal link between the treatment and injury. The big difference is that, with fault gone, clinicians are happy to provide information relevant to a claim in a timely fashion.”

ENDS

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