15 November 2004
The Bishop of Tasmania, the Right Reverend John Harrower, has written to the Prime Minister urging him to review the Medicare rebates system as it relates to payments by the Church to victims of abuse
The Anglican Church has initiated its Pastoral Support and Assistance Scheme as a way of providing the option of financial support to victims of past abuse within the Church. Applicants to the Scheme may be awarded up to $60 000 as determined by the Independent Assessor, Justice Christopher Wright.
The current laws may see victims of abuse having part or all of their payment reclaimed by the Commonwealth Government to reimburse past Medicare expenses.
Bishop Harrower said he has asked the Prime Minister to remedy this situation for the welfare of victims of abuse. He said, 'I am very concerned that money which is intended to support and aid these people may instead be returned to Medicare. This money will be a small sum for the Government, but significant for the victims.'
'I am also very concerned that some victims may have to relive their ordeal as they are forced to go through detailed medical records. This will cause them unnecessary anguish, and I am urging the Prime Minister to show compassion for these people.'
Media Officer - Rev. Stephen Carnaby 0417 343 710
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