Ten Victorian paramedics have committed suicide in the last five years. Many others experience devastating mental trauma after being the first on the scene to fatal road accidents. Yet in the next 48 hours, Premier Napthine will try to pass laws that some say will limit their access to compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lawyers, doctors and unions are saying the proposed laws will strip away "legal rights" and limit adequate care for people who are traumatised by road accidents -- for victims and emergency workers alike.
"Once again we're discriminating against people with psychiatric illness… the proposed changes are draconian, affecting individuals least able to defend themselves." -- Psychiatrist, Dr Nigel Strauss
I was at home minding our little boy and girl. My wife Nicole, 37 weeks pregnant with our third child, was on her way to a family BBQ -- then a driver did an illegal u-turn in front of their car. In mere seconds, that accident shattered our lives.
Our baby girl Grace was born by emergency c-section, but died in our arms from severe internal injuries three days later. The driver of the other vehicle was charged with dangerous driving causing death.
I feel I will never recover from the pain and trauma of losing our baby in these circumstances. It's a nightmare that victims of road accidents like us live through every day. It's traumatising beyond belief.
That's why I just can't understand why Premier Napthine would now want to make it harder for road trauma victims -- the government is proposing laws that lawyers and doctors say strip away "legal rights" and will leave people with "inadequate compensation and care" after motor vehicle accidents.
In just 5 days time, Premier Napthine wants to rush through laws that will make it almost impossible for people like me to receive compensation. And will put people through the hell of fighting to prove they have had consistent severe mental illness for 3 years -- changes I personally know would cause unbearable pain.
What's even worse - some commentators in The Age article about this last week say it's all just to help save the government a bit of money by not allowing some road trauma victims access to compensation.
Will you please sign my petition asking Premier Napthine to scrap the proposed laws that will hurt road trauma victims like our family?Before making changes to laws like this, he should consult with road trauma victims and mental health professionals - not simply rush them through.