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More ACC recognition of work-related diseases

18 December, 2007 Media Statement

More ACC recognition of work-related diseases

An extra 760 people a year are expected to get ACC cover for work-related diseases after a decision to add a raft of new ones to the Schedule 2 list, says ACC Minister Maryan Street.

“The change will see 24 diseases added and follows a recommendation from the Ministerial Advisory Panel on Work Related Gradual Process, Disease or Infection.

“It reflects the fact that as medical knowledge improves, so does the ability to identify a stronger occupational link with some diseases,” she said.

Schedule 2 lists specific work-related diseases and related causal agent. A person can gain cover if ACC (or the accredited employer) is satisfied that the person has the listed disease, and has been exposed to the related causal agent in their employment, Maryan Street said.

“People with these diseases may have formerly succeeded in gaining ACC cover, but by adding them to Schedule 2, their cover will now be simpler to assess.

“ACC estimates that about 760 employed and self-employed people will benefit from these changes, as a result of the easier access.”

There are 17 occupational diseases already on the list and the additional 24 include: specified types of occupational (allergic contact) dermatitis and asthma, sino-nasal carcinoma diagnosed as caused by working with wood dust and chronic renal failure caused by metals, the minister said.

“It is four years since the Schedule was last updated and the change continues the Labour-led government’s commitment to improving access to ACC.

The cost of the additional treatment, care and recovery is estimated to be $5.34 million in 2008, largely for the asthma and dermatitis claims, she said.


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