Western Australia Police officers will be able to access medical benefits for ongoing work-related conditions after leaving the police service, under new laws that have been finalised.
Police and Emergency Services Minister John Kobelke said the legislation, which was being introduced in the next few weeks as a priority, would remove the anomaly of police officers leaving WA Police with work-related injuries and illnesses without any recognition to meet the costs of their ongoing medical treatment.
Currently police are not entitled to recover these or other related expenses.
The Minister said it was estimated that several hundred former officers might be eligible for the scheme.
“Police officers in WA are covered for both work and non-work related medical costs and are not covered by workers’ compensation,” he said.
“We will now provide specified post-separation medical benefits to police officers who have already left, or may in the future leave WA Police due to work-related injury or illness.
“This was an issue vigorously pursued by the Western Australia Police Union and I’m pleased that we have been able to provide a good outcome for police officers.”
Mr Kobelke said the post-separation benefits scheme was the latest in a series of initiatives to provide police officers with the support they needed in their challenging role.
“The State Government’s expenditure on police per capita is 18 per cent higher than the average of other mainland States,” he said.
“Part of the continual improvement of our police service is to provide officers with the support which every worker in WA has a right to expect.
“The provision of post-separation medical benefits for work-related treatments follows the current Government’s achievement of extending for the first time, occupational health and safety coverage to WA Police in 2003.
“Our police continue to do an excellent job and as a government, we will continue to support our hard-working officers.
“Labor is delivering 350 more police in this term of government, meaning 600 more police are on the beat then when the Liberals were in power.”
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