The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals supports the Manitoba Government’s move to speed up the process by which workers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder receive timely attention and care. An amendment to the Workers Compensation Act for “presumptive coverage” of PTSD is a crucial step towards making that a reality.
Earlier this year, the Workers Compensation Board consulted with stakeholder organizations, such as the MAHCP, on amending the Act with the legislative presumption. The legislation would be similar to that which governs firefighters, as Section 4 (5.2) of the Act creates the presumption that certain types of cancer in firefighters are an occupational disease.
This proposal was put forward in the wake of the Government of Manitoba’s November 2014 throne speech, during which they committed to legislation that would “raise awareness of workplace mental health for front-line personnel who routinely face traumatic events, with new resources for effective follow-up after a traumatic event occurs and improved access to workers’ compensation benefits.”
Bob Moroz, president of the MAHCP, which represents more than 3,900 health care professionals in 160-plus disciplines from pharmacists to occupational therapists and social workers, said the legislative presumption is a powerful tool that could help staff in the emergency medical services, trauma centres, diagnostic imaging and many other workplaces.
“It’s easy to say that ‘It’s just part of the job,’ but nothing prepares professionals for long exposure to traumatic events,” said Moroz, citing cases where MAHCP members see the toll continuous abuse of children takes, or the toll illnesses such as cancer can take.
“This is about creating safe environments so that workers with PTSD symptoms can feel comfortable coming forward and getting the help they need so they can go back to their jobs and continue their service to our community.”
Today’s provincial news release stated that “this new bill would extend coverage and benefits to all workers eligible under WCB who are diagnosed with PTSD by a medical professional.” In the coming days, the MAHCP will consult with the provincial government on the details of the bill and how it will affect our members.
MAHCP President Bob Moroz is available for interviews. Media inquiries can be directed to Bernice Pontanilla, communications officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling or texting 204-290-5829.