Victims of domestic and family violence will have easier access to public hospitals for treatment, as part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 response.
A mother and child sitting in a hospital waiting room
The NSW hospital fees policy has been changed so that Medicare ineligible victims of domestic and family violence (DFV) will no longer be required to report the crime to police to access public hospitals at no cost.
The change by the NSW Government follows an Australian Institute of Criminology report that found DFV had risen during the pandemic. The report also found a large proportion of victims were not reporting to police.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it is vital that people facing violence at home feel safe to seek support and care in our public hospitals, without fear of reprisal from perpetrators.
“A tragic, often hidden cost of the COVID-19 pandemic is the rise in violence on the homefront and fewer opportunities to reach out for support,” Hazzard said.
“The NSW Government is helping to clear the way for victims of domestic and family violence to receive essential medical treatment and care in our hospitals, whenever they need it.”
Find out more about the services and support available for victims of domestic and family violence.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, when it’s safe to do so, you can contact the following supports:
NSW Domestic Violence Line, for crisis counselling, referral or support on 1800 65 64 63.
1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and support services.
Link2Home on 1800 152 152 who can help refer women experiencing domestic violence to crisis accommodation.
Men’s Referral Service for men who use violence, or their friends and family on 1300 766 491.
If you are in immediate danger or in an emergency, always call Triple Zero (000).