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10.4 Disease - date of effect prior to 13 April 2007 - S4


Section 4 defines 'disease' as follows:

'disease' means:

a)any ailment suffered by an employee, or

b)the aggravation of any such ailment,

being an ailment or an aggravation that was contributed to in a material degree by the employee's employment by the Commonwealth...

Likewise, 'ailment' is defined in S4 as:

any physical or mental ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition (whether of sudden onset or gradual development)

The 1930 and 1971 Acts contain similarly expressed provisions although arranged in a different format and for practical purposes the relationship between injury, disease and aggravation is virtually indistinguishable from that defined in the SRCA.

For the practical purposes of Delegates, 'disease' generally means a medical condition of mainly gradual development and usually without a single identifiable traumatic cause. As opposed to a simple injury, it does not involve an act or a specific event. For instance, infectious conditions, most mental ailments and gradual attrition or degeneration (e.g. of the joints), are all 'diseases'.

Nevertheless, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which by self-definition must be caused by a specific event, i.e. a mental trauma, has been deemed by case law and by RCG policy to be a 'disease' rather than an injury.