Thursday, June 21, 2012

ACC should be more than just an insurance shceme that makes a profit

ACC ain’t what it used to be! It is not operating as the original legislation intended. That managers are encouraging ACC officers to cull people on the scheme, possibly forcing people back to work before they are ready, or transitioning them onto another benefit (that costs us a lot less) is tantamount to abusing the spirit of the scheme.
Yes we all know that ACC became debt heavy, and it still is, but to pay officers ‘incentives’ to duck shove people off the scheme is insensitive and is nothing less than nasty on the part of the politicians who have driven this culture  change.
There needs to be a balance and I am not arguing against the rebalancing of some of the issues around overuse of the scheme re the physiotherapists. I think that some of the claims being made were spurious to say the least. However, even in that sphere of operation the Government has forced changes that have gone too far the other way.
Let us review the original purpose of ACC. It is a safety net that allows those injured to be able to return to work, when they are healed and to allow those who cannot, through no fault of their own, to live with dignity. That is not to say that officers should not be diligent in their investigations of those claimants who are making dishonest claims on the scheme. It is all about balance.

My little therapist.

In my line of work (School counsellor) I hear many sad stories and have some days that really stretch my energy levels, physically and emotionally. In the name of ‘safe practice’ I attend supervision and I am lucky to have an experienced and skilled supervisor.
That is not all I have to help me achieve balance in my life. I have a Jack Russell and no doubt you have read many of my blogs about this special little dog. She is two years old now and she is my other therapist. She is great at keeping secrets and she knows just how to hit the spot with me.
When I drive down my bumpy drive and turn towards the car port parking space, I see this little face peering out the large window. She has this way of pointing her face as she stretches. She is preparing to welcome me and to make sure that I barely get through the door and pick up her ‘treats’ to take her for her ‘compulsory walk.
Firstly she jumps up onto the top of the couch (I have long since given up on ever buying a flash leather version) and attempts to lick my face. If I am silly enough to be talking (not an unusual state for me!) she will sometimes manage to lick my mouth--- yuck---ever had a doggie tongue searching for yours!)  OK too much detail.  If I am lucky I might get a chance to change into track pants.
We have a rule in our house that Perdy does not go down to the bedroom, because that is the realm of the queen who lives in the house (Tut tut--- I heard that!). Jasmine our ever suffering cat claims that domain as hers alone--- doggie free for ever.  Perdy waits at the barrier we have placed there, panting and making little grunts—all in anticipation of her adventure to come down at the Onehunga Lagoon.
Somehow she manages to negotiate the barrier and appears in the bedroom and then starts this crazy jumping up and grabbing the leggings, or socks. This all makes it harder to get ready, thus my more likely action of going as I am. This also leads me to believe that Perdy does not always stay in her area of the house (she can also come and go through the cat door as she pleases throughout the day) because there is evidence on my feet that this is not so. Why is it that I have less and less matching pairs of socks and why do I find the odd sock outside in the yard? We all know the answer. Little Madame also comes and goes at will over the barrier. I suspect that she uses the bed during the day as a trampoline and the goes through the socks in the washing basket and regularly takes them for a walk outside.
Eventually, I manage to get ready (this usually takes less time than it has taken to write a paragraph or two of my blog). Once in the car, safely tired up so that she doesn’t help with the driving or turn on the emergency lights, we set off to the park. Now I have to put up with her constant whining. Perdy is not known for her patience. She is a back-seat driver, commenting on my skills and lack of speed.
We finally arrive at that park and I set her loose. She bounds out of the car and looks to me to throw the ball. For the next hour she plays, runs, meets up with her friends and causes general mayhem.
Yes--- pure therapy. She’s a wonderful bundle of endless energy. Just watching her play with her favourite dogs) oh yes--- she has special friends) is just what the doctor ordered. There is empirical evidence that all of this is doing me the world of good.  Who needs drugs--- She is all I need after the end of a hard day.
Thanks Perdy!
PS  My next book (TALK TO ME) has Perdy staring as ‘Spot.’  Read it in my blogs--- it will be online for purchase soon.