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Treatment injuries cost taxpayers $14m

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 05:00 09/01/2014

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Thousands of Kiwis are being injured during treatment for other ailments, costing the taxpayer millions each year.

Amputation, dental injuries, hepatitis and deafness were among the injuries the Accident Compensation Corporation accepted claims for last year.

Figures released under the Official Information Act show more than $14 million was paid out between January 1 and October 26 for claims for injuries caused by treatment, including $5.38m in compensation.

A treatment injury is caused as a result of receiving care from a health professional. Payouts included compensation, lost earnings, further treatment, rehabilitation and personal care costs.

The highest compensation payout in 2012 was $354,808. Last year, it was $141,695.

New Zealand Medical Association general practitioner council chairwoman Kate Baddock was not surprised that infections topped the "most claimed" list as there were several types of infection, from skin cancer to a post-operative infection in a wound.

In 2013, 7969 claims were lodged for treatment injuries before October 26. Of those, 5089 were accepted.

In 2012, 9367 claims were lodged for treatment injuries, with 5892 claims accepted.

Nurse Executives of New Zealand chairwoman Denise Kivell said minimising the risk of harm and preventing treatment injuries was vital.

TOP 10

Top 10 accepted claims throughout 2012 and from January 1 to October 26 2013 (excluding "other" category):

1. Infection 2234

2. Adverse reaction 1240

3. Haematoma/bruising 766

4. Nerve injury 721

5. Skin injury 403

6. Strain or sprain 382

7. Dental injury 335

8. Ulcer – pressure area/decubitus 295

9. Perineal injury 233

10. Gastrointestinal injury 203 


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