Today, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) added its voice to that of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) in support of a no-fault compensation scheme in NSW and potentially, across Australia.
Ms Robin Banks, Director of PIAC, said:
‘The legal costs and unpredictability associated with taking one’s chances in court ought to be a thing of the past. People who suffer a workplace injury already enjoy the benefits of a no-fault compensation scheme. People injured in other types of accidents or incidents, including medical operations, ought to be entitled to the same benefits.’
‘There are some successful and not so successful models already in operation around the world. Sweden, Finland and New Zealand operate no-fault compensation schemes. Perhaps they are not perfect but we should learn from those experiences in crafting a better no-fault compensation system rather than rejecting the concept out of hand.’
PIAC is firmly committed to the concept of no-fault compensation. A properly funded scheme would ensure that injured people have access to funds that they need to begin rebuilding their lives more quickly and without the expense of a negligence suit in the courts.
PIAC acknowledges the criticism of no-fault schemes in that they do not provide any deterrence or punishment for those who cause injury to others. However, this view fails to admit the context of other forms of government regulation that criminalise or impose civil penalties for serious failures to ensure the safety of others.
PIAC welcomes the revival of the concept of a no-fault compensation scheme in NSW as recognition by the Carr Government of the direct and indirect cost to all members of the community when one of our community members is incapacitated or injured.
Importantly, PIAC calls on the Carr Government to open this issue to public consultation. Important issues such as the scope of injuries covered, funding models and levels of compensation should not be determined by the Government without the benefit of community input.
MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic O’Grady, Media and Communications Officer,
Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Ph: 02 8898 6532 or 0400 110 169