Disability Care and Support – Report of the Productivity Commission
State and territory governments should create insurance schemes that would provide fully-funded care and support for all catastrophic injuries on a no-fault basis, and that would collectively constitute a National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS).
The NIIS would include all medical treatment, rehabilitation, home and vehicle modifications and care costs, and cover catastrophic injuries from motor vehicle, medical (excluding cases of cerebral palsy associated with pregnancy or birth, which would be covered by the NDIS), criminal and general accidents. Common law rights to sue for long-term care and support should be removed, though access to damages for pecuniary and economic loss, and general damages would remain.
State and territory governments should develop a national framework in which the separate schemes under the NIIS would operate.
State and territory governments should fund catastrophic injury schemes from a variety of sources including:
State and territory governments should fund NIIS claims directly to the extent that they choose not to fund catastrophic general accidents on a no-fault basis through local council rates.
The Australian Government should fund any catastrophic aviation accidents, until specific sources of funding related to accident risks are established.
The NIIS should be structured as a federation of separate state-based catastrophic injury schemes, which would include:
State and territory governments should create a small full-time secretariat to further the objectives outlined above. The NIIS and the NDIA should work closely together.
State and territory governments should consider transferring the care and support of catastrophic workplace claims to the NIIS through a contractual arrangement with their respective workers’ compensation schemes, drawing on the successful experiences of Victoria’s Worksafe arrangements with the Transport Accident Commission.
The NDIS should fund all cases of cerebral palsy associated with pregnancy or birth, and that meet the NDIS eligibility criteria. Common law rights to sue for long-term care and support needs for cerebral palsy should be removed, though access to damages for pecuniary and economic loss and general damages would remain, where negligence can be established.
The initial priority for the NIIS should be the creation of no-fault motor accident insurance schemes, which should provide services and support for catastrophic injuries arising from motor vehicle accidents in all jurisdictions by 2013. Other forms of catastrophic injury should be covered by at least 2015, with funding commencing by 2014 to establish a funding pool prior to any claims.
An independent review in 2020 should examine the advantages and disadvantages of:
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