A Glimpse on New Zealand's Accident Compensation Scheme (ACC) - By: Malcolm Reeves
When you move to any medical jobs in New Zealand, it is essential stay aware about the acronym 'ACC.' The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), or the no fault scheme covers both the residents of New Zealand and visitors to the country.
Here's a quick explanation of what ACC is and what it might mean for you -
What is ACC?
ACC stands for Accident Compensation Corporation, the Crown entity set up under the Accident Compensation Act 2001 that manages and delivers New Zealand's extensive, 24/7 no-fault injury and accident compensation scheme. Comprehensive no-fault coverage schemes such as New Zealand's are rare, currently only found here and in a few Scandinavian countries. Our compulsory insurance scheme protects all New Zealand citizens, along with visitors to our shores. Regardless of how an accidental injury was sustained, ACC helps to cover medical and treatment fees, rehabilitation costs such as physiotherapy, as well as financially supporting people to return to their daily lives, work and independence.
How does it work?
ACC is funded through a combination of levies on people's earnings, business payrolls, petrol and fees from vehicle licensing, as well as Government funding. Income collected from each source goes into predetermined account based on the source; costs relating to an injury are then paid from one of these accounts, based on the type and cause of the injury.
To treat patients claiming an injury, treatment providers, registered health professionals and people in locum doctor jobs, must be registered with ACC. Once registered, adherence to the ACC treatment provider handbook is required. The provider handbook covers such things as knowing about and following best practice, cultural considerations, thinking creatively about how to rehabilitate patients, acting in keeping with professional standards and ACC legislation, privacy responsibilities, complying with policies and procedures, maintaining appropriate clinical records, lodging claims and how to provide reports and patient notes. Your placement practice manager will be able to offer further guidance regarding ACC registration and claim lodgement.
Private healthcare insurance vs. ACC
As you are no doubt aware, in other countries private medical healthcare insurance is obtained by individuals as a safeguard for themselves and their dependents from costs incurred by accidental injury. In some cases, private healthcare is partially funded by employers as a part of a benefits package for their employees. Health insurers also market directly to the public. In many countries, legal mechanisms are in place for personal injury compensation, in such instances, parties can sue others for medical costs, loss of income, pain and emotional suffering.
These systems based upon fault can often be expensive, litigious and controversial. New Zealand's ACC no-fault system is primarily concerned with ensuring that injured individuals focus on recovering their health without the stress of blame or financial burden. Levies are based on the potential severity and cost of treating an injury rather than fault, for example a professional motor-cross athlete would incur a higher ACC levy than an office worker. In this way coverage for everyone is accessible and equitable. Further, ACC coverage is secured by New Zealand law, which explicitly stipulates that claimants forgo the right to sue.
Private health insurance is also available in New Zealand.
What does ACC cover?
The ACC insurance scheme covers everything from car crashes to injuries at work, slips, trips and falls at home or playing sport, even if the person who is injured caused the accident. It covers injuries occurred while undertaking medical treatment, sexual violence and work-related gradual injury such as sprains, strains, wounds, burns, fractures, dislocations and dental injuries.
It does not cover illness or contagious diseases, conditions relating to ageing, stress or hurt feelings, injuries that happen over time (not work related) and most hernias. A comprehensive list of what ACC covers (and doesn't cover) can be found here.
How does ACC help?
ACC helps with a bunch of services to help you get back to work. These are the sort of services provided by ACC when you are injured in New Zealand –
- Covers your Treatment costs
- Looks after your Prescription & medication costs
- You get a Compensation for your lost earnings
- Help with Transport to and from the treatment
- Recovery aids and equipment
Medical professionals, who are looking out for permanent medical jobs, can also register with ACC, which is a vital cog within a scheme. This scheme has successfully been protecting, caring for and supporting New Zealander's and visitors to return to healthy and productive lives for over forty years. For more information on ACC you could access their very informative website or contact one of our knowledgeable Ochre Recruitment consultants. We'd love to hear from you!
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The author is a reputed doctor, researcher, author and educator. His words of wisdom influence the aspirants to gain locum doctor jobs New Zealand. His communicates in an easy-to-understand way, encouraging and compassionate style. Visit https://www.ochrerecruitment.co.nz/doctors to know more.