Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Independent review of ACC needed

Independent review of ACC needed

Nick Smith’s acknowledgement that problems were caused by changes to how ACC deals with sexual abuse victims highlights the need for an independent review of all changes made to ACC since National took office, the Green Party said today.

“An independent review of the changes is needed to ensure ACC is doing its job and not re-victimising of accident victims,” Green Party ACC spokesperson Kevin Hague said.

“The changes made to ACC's sexual abuse assessment procedures are the first to be assessed independently and the review, released today, confirms the changes were a disaster, with victims of rape and sexual abuse being denied essential care and unnecessarily.”

Since late 2008 ACC Minister Nick Smith has introduced wide-ranging changes to ACC cover, entitlements and assessment criteria. These include narrowing the criteria for approving surgery, restrictions on cover for hearing loss and work-related gradual process injuries, and widening the vocational independence assessment criteria under which ACC decides to stop paying claimants weekly compensation.

“Given that the panel has found major flaws in this area of changed procedures, the public can have no confidence that the other changed procedures have been handled any better, unless these are also reviewed independently,” Mr Hague said.

Mr Hague said recent revelations that the new approach to sensitive claims had been based on work by Dr Felicity Goodyear-Smith. ACC commissioned Dr Goodyear-Smith to provide advice on a number of occasions and then, according to the Sunday Star-Times, attempted to cover this up.

Dr Goodyear-Smith has a history of involvement with the Centrepoint community and held controversial views about sexual abuse. ACC’s former General Manager of Health Purchasing, David Rankin, confirmed over the weekend that ACC had known about this at the time, and that an expert panel of clinicians had recommended against Dr Goodyear-Smith’s recommendations.

Mr Hague said he suspected that cost cutting was the motivation for the changes despite Rankin and ACC’s denial.

“The only possible explanations for the poor decisions that have come to light so far are that ACC has a sick culture, intent on cost-cutting through disentitlement, or that the organisation’s systems have failed to the point that catastrophic errors of judgment can occur.

“The New Zealand public deserves a thorough and independent review to determine the source of these problems and ensure that a fix is put in place, in which we can all have confidence.”

LINKS

Sunday Star Times story
http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/4069062/Conflicting-interests
Previous release calling for inquiry
http://www.greens.org.nz/press-releases/independent-review-acc-changes-needed
Release from Nick Smith about review
http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/minister+welcomes+sensitive+claims+clinical+review

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels