Ambulance workers in Western Australia will no longer have to prove their post-traumatic stress disorder was contracted at work in order to make a claim for compensation.
From February 1, a PTSD presumption will apply to ambulance officers, paramedics and communications officers.
State health minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said ambulance staff regularly face traumatic scenes at work.
There can be a gradual build-up of trauma over a prolonged period leading to PTSD which requires medical, health and income support through workers' compensation claims.
Previous claims processes, which required workers to prove their condition was related to the job, have been lengthy and have sometimes required staff to relive traumatic events.
"This change ensures ambulance workers no longer have the added burden of proving PTSD was caused as a result of their jobs," the minister said.
The onus of proof will be reversed, requiring employers or insurers to rebut the presumption if there is evidence.
It's welcome news for the United Workers Union, which campaigned for the change for five years.
Ambulance section organiser June Congdon said the last thing people living with PTSD want to do is jump through hoops.
"Ambos make huge sacrifices to keep the community safe, particularly during COVID, and the least we can do is make sure they are looked after when they are injured at work looking after us," she said.
Australian Associated Press