According to the Law Society of NSW, up to 20,000 injured workers across NSW will lose essential medical benefits this New Year’s Eve under changes to workers’ compensation.
Up to 20,000 injured workers across NSW will lose medical benefits this New Year’s Eve
Government plays Scrooge at the expense of injured workers
Law Society: workers comp changes
President of the Law Society of NSW, John Dobson, said under changes introduced in June last year workers who were entitled to essential treatment and medical expenses for life will no longer receive them after 31 December.
“Thousands of injured workers who rely on ongoing treatment and medical expenses will be affected despite many having serious injuries that require ongoing medical assistance,” Mr Dobson said.
“For example, a worker with an amputation injury who has up until now been having their artificial limbs replaced by the insurer will now lose this entitlement.
Mr Dobson said the changes are particularly harsh for those who have returned to work but have been receiving continuing treatment to enable them to function.
Workers like Frederick, a 63 year old truck driver who injured his knee whilst at work in February 1995. Fredrick now requires knee replacement surgery, however this is no longer available.
Or 55 year-old Albert from Beacon Hill, who suffered a shoulder injury working for Sydney Water where he was employed for 21 years. Under the changes, Albert can no longer undergo shoulder reconstruction surgery, and will be unemployable having to rely on Centrelink.
“The scheme is failing to make essential payments to injured workers and it is certainly not encouraging many of them back into the workforce, which was the stated aim of the reforms,” Mr Dobson said.
“Savings made within the scheme which have recently been announced have only been made possible at the expense of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
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“The NSW government must now go back to the drawing board and fix the scheme so that it works for the people of NSW, and not just deliver budget savings to the O’Farrell government.”
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