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Overseas treatment payment ceiling increased

Parliament unanimously approved into law the Accident Compensation Amendment Bill 2019, which allows Cabinet to endorse any amount above $150,000 for overseas treatment of injuries sustained during an accident. 

The measure was submitted to Parliament in January this year by Minister of Public Enterprises, Lautafi Selafi Purcell.   

The ACC manager (administration human resources division), Fauono Galdys Fuimaono, told Samoa Observer the ACC Act 2009 stipulates the maximum amount of $150,000 tala to be spent on an injured person sent overseas for treatment. 

“There were two cases in 2018 that exceeded the current stipulated amount in the Accident Compensation Amendment Act 2009 of $150,000. This Bill was therefore put forth to allow Cabinet to approve any amount above $150,000 tala, should a cost to an overseas treatment to an accident related patient exceeds the said amount."

She explained that the ACC Amendment Bill 2019 amends Section 33 of the Accident Compensation Amendment Act 2009 on “treatment overseas” not available in Samoa, but is of substantial benefit to an injured person.

“Section 33 of the current Accident Compensation Amendment Act 2009 stipulates the maximum amount of $150,000 tala to be spent on sending an accident related patient on overseas treatment not available in Samoa. 

“This amount may pay for or contribute to the treatment costs (including costs of travel, accommodation and meals) of that person in obtaining that treatment," she added. 

Fauono said the purpose of this amendment is in regards to the needs of the injured person, the severity of the injury, and the extent to which the treatment or rehabilitation training may facilitate an earlier return to normal life of the injured person than would otherwise occur.

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