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Survivors' trust in ACC at rock bottom

Survivors' trust in ACC at rock bottom

16th March, 2012

ACC has once more shown its lack of understanding of the needs of survivors of sexual abuse. Whilst it is clear that the privacy breach this week of 6000 individuals' private health information is of concern to all New Zealanders, of particular concern is today’s admission by ACC that the details of sensitive claimants has been circulated outside of the sensitive claim unit for “a number of years.”

“This is a clear breach of trust by ACC, and contrary to all policies and previous understandings of how sensitive claims should be handled,” says Kyle MacDonald, of the New Zealand Association of Psychotherapists.

The Sensitive Claims Unit specifically handles the claims related to sexual abuse and assault, and all information is required to remain only with that unit, an additional level of privacy required due to the sensitive nature of these claims.

“The trust that sexual abuse survivors have in ACC is undoubtedly at rock bottom. Sensitive Claimants have already had to endure incompetently implemented changes to their treatment pathway in 2009 and now despite an independent review and multiple assurances from ACC, we discover that the ACC continue to act with blatant disregard for the rights of survivors.”

The Sensitive Claims treatment pathway, for survivors of sexual abuse and assault is in its final phase of being reviewed, a process that commenced in 2009 in response to the ACC’s changes to their treatment pathway and subsequent protest from all professional groups involved in the provision of treatment.

“ACC have breached their own internal process by circulating sensitive claimants information outside of the unit set up specifically to protect their privacy. To ensure this thoroughly investigated I have made a specific complaint to the privacy commissioner asking her to investigate and review the privacy of the sensitive claims unit.”

ENDS

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