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ACC privatisation will not benefit claimants

ACC privatisation will not benefit claimants

Press Release by Hazel Armstrong, employment and ACC lawyer April 2 2008

"Any move to privatise ACC will not benefit claimants", said employment and ACC lawyer Hazel Armstrong.

She was responding to a report prepared by Pricewaterhouse Coopers on the ACC scheme, released yesterday. The report found that there were benefits in having a single organisation for making cover decisions and for the provision of entitlements.

"Even though my practise would probably stand to benefit from privatisation of ACC, I know that it would leave many clients very vulnerable," Hazel Armstrong said.

"Many of the manual workers I come across have had multiple injuries over the years from work, sports and road accidents.

"Just today I was representing someone who had a motor injury and two work injuries, spanning twenty years, and we are working with ACC to recognise that he needs an overall approach to his treatment taking into account the different injuries he had."

"If we had a privatised scheme, you would not get a holistic approach to rehabilitation and treatment, as claimants would go from one insurance company to the next. It would increase costs for claimants, and hold up their recovery."

"I also see a number of female clients who are sexual abuse survivors, many of whom have suffered more than one incident in their lives. They need a different type of assistance again, and I would be most concerned if they had to rely on private insurance companies to obtain rehabilitation and treatment.

"Any party that wants to privatise ACC needs to explain why, in the face of clear evidence of the value to society of the current scheme".


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