Ontario wants to extend PTSD coverage to frontline nurses
December 15, 2017
The Ontario Ministry of Labour wants to extend “presumptive” post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) legislation to include up to 140,000 frontline nurses.
If the proposal becomes law, it will cover the nurses for “stress and impairment to functioning,” including painful flashbacks, nightmares, outbursts and thoughts of suicide and guilt or sadness following a traumatic event.
There are up to 140,000 frontline nurses in Ontario. SUNMEDIA
“With the new proposed presumption, once a frontline nurse is diagnosed with PTSD by either a psychiatrist or a psychologist, the claims process for WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) benefits will be expedited, and nurses will not be required to prove a causal link between PTSD and a workplace event,” said the ministry in a statement.
In April 2016, Ontario passed the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act, creating the “presumption” that PTSD diagnosed in first responders was work-related — so covered workers do not have to prove the link between their work and PTSD.
The act covered about 73,000 first responders in the province, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, corrections workers and dispatchers. But nurses were not included, sparking an outcry from the group.