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Turner: Pain in the ACC

Media Statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 1 September 2005

Turner: Pain in the ACC

United Future deputy leader Judy Turner today called for the ACC to urgently review its response criteria for handling people in chronic pain.

"I note with interest that ACC representatives have recently returned from an international health conference in Sydney where there was a strong emphasis on pain management - and quite clearly ACC has failed to deliver in this area for New Zealanders," Mrs Turner, who is also United Future's health spokeswoman, said.

"My experience with constituents is that ACC requires clients to have a total impairment of 10% or more to get an independence allowance, and yet pain is not a recognised criteria under the term 'impairment' and therefore they always get turned down.

"The only time that pain is recognised separately is if the patient has chronic pain syndrome, which is a mental health condition and that leaves the vast majority of those in pain suffering without support," she said.

"Frankly, ACC has been operating in the dark ages in this area for far too long and there has been too much unnecessary suffering."

ENDS

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