More pro­tec­tion for emer­gency work­ers

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

EMER­GENCY ser­vice work­ers pro­vide an in­valu­able ser­vice to our lo­cal com­mu­nity.

That’s why I wel­come pro­posed re­forms to Vic­to­ria’s Work Cover sys­tem that will help pro­tect the state’s first re­spon­ders through bet­ter men­tal health care.

Un­der an ini­tial 12 month pi­lot, paramedics, po­lice, Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices Of­fi­cers, fire­fight­ers and SES work­ers will have ac­cess to pro­vi­sional ac­cep­tance pay­ments for men­tal health claims, with plans to roll this out to all Vic­to­rian work­ers within two years.

These are sig­nif­i­cant re­forms that recog­nise the com­plex na­ture of men­tal health is­sues such as anx­i­ety and PTSD, and will help to min­imise dis­rup­tion and stress en­abling emer­gency work­ers to fo­cus on their health at difficult times.

In the af­ter­math of a traumatic event, it’s im­por­tant that emer­gency work­ers get on­the-ground men­tal health sup­port and early ac­cess to any spe­cial­ist care that’s needed.

These re­forms should go a long way to en­sur­ing work­ers feel they are be­ing fully sup­ported by the gov­ern­ment and the wider com­mu­nity. Travis Few­ster (lawyer), Wan­garatta

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