Who pays the price for protecting our citizens?

This week’s 4 Corners program To Injury visited the vexed issue in Australia. It is the question of compensation that we paid to police and soldiers in particular who are so badly traumatised doing their job that they can no longer work. The condition is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is a result of some horrendous experience normally involving the death of the human beings.

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One of police officers featured on the program

 Unfortunately, these experiences are going to be part parcel of the work of police officers and soldiers and their be casualties on the way. Also unfortunately, there is stressing large number of examples where the people who have experienced this kind of stress have not had their claims settled fairly equitably nor quickly.

In the case of the armed services, the reason appears to be unbelievable intransigence on the part of the Department of Defence. In the case of the police forces, it appears to be the private insurance companies which appear to go out of their way to frustrate the claims of the police officers.

This should be public outrage at the situation. One of the terms and conditions of employment in the Armed Forces or the Police should be that claims for workers compensation and particularly for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder should be settled with incredible speed and generosity. It is not too much to ask of public bodies that they protect the people who are the front-line defence against people that the ordinary citizens do not wish to have to confront: terrorists, criminals, drug dealers and psychopaths.

It will will certainly involve a cost to the public purse, but it seems that present the wrong people are paying the price.

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