Wider scope for birth injuries bill celebrated

Thanks to political pressure from the Green Party and the more than 900 personal stories of birth injury and trauma delivered to Minister Sepuloni, more injuries have been added to the ACC birth injuries bill.

“Thanks to the many brave people who shared their stories of birth injuries and traumatic births, we were able to widen the scope of the Bill so that even more injuries will be covered,” says Jan Logie, Green Party spokesperson for ACC.

“Today, as the Bill passes its second reading, we are celebrating this as a win for everyone who contributed to our campaign to have ACC cover all birth injuries and trauma.

“We have been calling for the Minister to make ACC more equitable, so we are delighted more injuries will be covered. This is a big step that will improve thousands of post-natal experiences.

“But there is still more work to do. The wider scope of the Bill has stopped short of covering all birth injuries, coverage for standalone mental trauma, coverage for babies injured during birth, and support for parents with existing injuries.

“I would like to thank every one of the more than 900 people who shared their story for being brave, honest, and, above all, committed to ensuring others receive the support they have so far missed out on.”

The Green Party wants to see cover expanded by including the following:

  • Birth injuries sustained before the Act comes into force, where these have an ongoing impact (i.e. the damage has not healed and health care is still required to address the effects).
  • A general category of birth injuries, rather than a closed list approach.
  • Mental injury due to a traumatic birth, whether or not there is also a physical injury (for example, due to post-partum haemorrhage or an emergency Caesarean section).
  • Injuries to the baby, whether or not this meets the threshold of treatment injury (for example, due to oxygen deprivation).

“We will continue to focus on ensuring ACC provides people the help they need, when they need it, without struggle” Jan Logie says. 

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