NSW Premier pledges better paramedic death and disability cover

Published 22 Feb 2017

Paramedics across NSW could find their insurance policies for serious injury, death and disability are about to improve, after premier Gladys Berejiklian committed to better coverage earlier this month.

A new death and disability scheme was introduced to paramedics in August last year, prompting protests due to substantial cuts in the amount of money received for injuries on the job.

The previous scheme ensured that paramedics who were seriously injured to the point where they could no longer work in the profession would receive between $253,515 and $685,642, dependent on their age.

Paramedics who suffered a total and permanent disability (TPD) preventing them from performing a role in any industry were entitled to payouts ranging from $559,708 and $699,635, according to ABC News.

The new scheme means ambulance officers receive a flat rate of $123,487, regardless of the extent of their injury or their age.

Premier promises change

Former Premier Mike Baird committed to reforms of the insurance scheme last year, but his resignation left paramedics unsure whether a new deal would be on the table.

However, ABC News reported that Ms Berejiklian called Health Services Union (HSU) State Secretary Gerard Hayes earlier this month to say she was pledging to improve death and disability cover to paramedics.

"It is the NSW government's responsibility to ensure our paramedics, who work so hard to support all of us during our toughest times, get the protection and support they need in their workplace," she explained.

"Discussions are continuing, but it is expected that we will be able to present options to paramedics in the near future."

Mr Hayes said it was a "great outcome" and the HSU would be taking the NSW government at its word until the new scheme is on the table.

Chalk campaign will stop

The news led to President of the New England sub-branch of the HSU David Lucietto confirming that an ongoing campaign where chalk slogans demanding better insurance coverage were emblazoned on ambulances would be halted.

"We'd be hoping for some kind of definitive on-the-table deal within the next couple of weeks," he explained.

Mr Lucietto confirmed that anyone injured on the job before a new deal is agreed would be covered under the old scheme.

For more information on permanent disabilities and TPD claims, please contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Superannuation Lawyers.

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