Stroke victim wins access to Medicare

BY PETER JEAN, HEALTH REPORTER
05 Dec, 2011 04:00 AM
Almost two years after suffering a massive stroke, an elderly Polish woman has been granted the right to stay in Australia and access the Medicare system.Aniela Skrzydlowska was visiting her Canberra-based daughter Weronika when a stroke on New Year’s Day 2009 left her permanently disabled and unable to walk or speak.She had nobody to care for her in Poland but was unable to access her Polish pension or Government-subsidised medical services in Australia.

Weronika Skrzydlowska was willing to care for her mother, who is now 88, but faced massive medical and care bills. Mrs Skrzydlowska’s medical condition has been assessed as palliative and she currently lives in a nursing home.

Former immigration minister Chris Evans granted Mrs Skrzydlowska a visa which allowed her to stay in Australia but not access the Medicare system.

When The Canberra Times first reported on the case in July, Weronika Skrzydlowska, of Kambah, said caring for her mother had harmed her own health and affected her ability to work.

It had also placed her under severe pressure, although Canberra Hospital had waved substantial bills on compassionate grounds. Read More