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Eliminating barriers for emergency dispatchers, nurses, care aides…

VANCOUVER, BC - APRIL 16, 2019 - BC Minister of Labour Harry Bains makes an announcement April 16, 2019 at E-Comm 911 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Govt of BC)

Emergency dispatchers, nurses and publicly funded health-care assistants will have easier access to workers’ compensation for mental-health disorders that come from work-related trauma.

Regulatory changes that took effect on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, make this possible.

“These changes to the Mental Disorder Presumption Regulation are about fairness and support for workers who experience higher-than-average mental harm due to the jobs they do on behalf of British Columbians,” said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour.

Last spring, government amended the Workers Compensation Act to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental-health disorders to the list of illnesses that are recognized as being associated with certain professions – specifically police, firefighters, paramedics, sheriffs and correctional officers. This recognition fast-tracks the claims process to access supports and compensation for those illnesses once a formal diagnosis has been made.

“I also acknowledged the need to look at other sectors for these presumptions, because certain professions are more likely to experience trauma on the job that can lead to mental illness,” Bains said. “Since last spring, we have been working with those sectors, and I am very pleased to expand the mental-health presumption to nurses, emergency dispatchers and publicly-funded health-care assistants.”

Several factors were considered for each occupation, such as the nature of the work, potential for exposure to traumatic events, rates of workers’ compensation claims for mental illness in each type of job and financial impacts of extending the presumption to the occupation.

Delivering improved protections and supports for workers are shared priorities between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and are part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Released by BC Government.

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