- · McGowan Government introduces rebuttable presumption of work-related post-traumatic stress disorder for ambulance workers claiming workers' compensation
- · Election commitment delivered with new regulations to commence February 1, 2022
Ambulance workers will no longer have to provide evidence that their post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was contracted at work to claim workers' compensation.
'From February 1, 2022, as part of the Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Amendment Regulations 2021, a PTSD presumption will apply to ambulance officers, paramedics and ambulance emergency communications officers.
These workers will not be required to go through lengthy and costly claim investigations to prove PTSD was contracted at work.
Instead, the onus of proof will fall on the employer or insurer if there is evidence to rebut the presumption.
Ambulance workers may experience a gradual build-up of mental trauma over a prolonged period of time as a result of experiencing or witnessing traumatic events.
Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to ambulance workers suffering PTSD and requiring medical, health and income support through the workers' compensation system.
The claims process, to prove their condition is work-related, can have a detrimental impact on ambulance workers by requiring them to relive traumatic events. A lengthy claims process can also delay access to appropriate supports.
A diagnosis of PTSD will be required from a psychiatrist in accordance with the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Comments attributed to Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:
"Ambulance workers will now receive timely support in the workers' compensation scheme if they contract PTSD after a traumatic event at work.
"It's important our highly valued health care workers, who provide an essential service to our community, are protected and not unfairly burdened with workers' compensation claims."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
"Ambulance staff are so important to our health system and regularly face traumatic scenes at work.
"This change ensures ambulance workers no longer have the added burden of proving PTSD was caused as result of their jobs."
Industrial Relations Minister's office - 6552 6700
Health Minister's office - 6552 5900