January 11, 2005

PM intervenes to stop costs against abuse victims


Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon says Prime Minister John Howard has intervened to prevent abuse victims from repaying medical costs.

At the end of last year 169 people abused while in state care were offered compensation payments.

Steve Fisher from Survivors Investigating Child Sexual Abuse says after the majority accepted the payment they received a letter from the commission saying they would have to repay Medicare costs relating to the abuse.

"It could go as high as in to the tens of thousands of dollars," Mr Fisher said.

Mr Howard's letter says he has suspended any recovery action by the Health Insurance Commission while the matter is examined further.

The letter also suggests the suspension will also apply to abuse victims who have received compensation from the Anglican church.

The Prime Minister did not return the ABC's call.

Posted by kshaw at January 11, 2005 06:52 PM