New Zealand Law Society - Views sought on non-causation healthcare and social support system

Views sought on non-causation healthcare and social support system

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Otago barrister Warren Forster is seeking input on proposals for development of a healthcare and social support system for people with disabilities that does not discriminate on the basis of cause.

Mr Forster has released a discussion paper on the proposal. He says the current accident compensation system, which was introduced in 1971, is incomplete.

"It works for some people, but not for others. People receive different standards of care. This includes different treatment, rehabilitation and income support based on how they got their injury or impairment. Families are expected to pick up what people in government choose not to provide. This was not how our system was supposed to work," he says.

Mr Forster says the way forward is very simple: "We have a single person centric system for providing the assistance people need. Imagine having a single system that helps people with disabilities where we can focus on meeting people’s needs rather than the administrative needs of the various government agencies.”

He says the idea has been discussed with members of the government, who want to hear from New Zealanders on it. This has resulted in a survey to assess public opinion on the matter.

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