The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) fund a one-off assessment available to all former serving personnel called the ‘Post Discharge GP Health Assessment’. Designed specifically for veterans, it includes those who have left the permanent force and are now in the Reserves, as well as those who have left the Reserves. The ADF post-discharge GP health assessment can help your doctor identify mental or physical health conditions that may be experienced, and offer treatment for these or referral to other services. Note that there are no time restrictions for accessing this one-off assessment.
The DVA are responsible for carrying out Government policy and implementing programs for war veterans, members of the Australian Defence Force and of the Australian Federal Police, along with their dependants. A list of those who are eligible can be found on the DVA website as can a list of health services funded by the DVA.
One initiative offers access to free basic health care, the National ADF Family Health Program. This is available to all ADF recognised dependants, where families can be reimbursed for GP visits, allied health care and all Medicare-recognised services. To register, ADF members must complete the form on the National ADF Family Health Program website.
Another DVA program that supports veteran health is the Veterans’ Medicines Advice and Therapeutics Education Services (Veterans’ MATES) project. With the use of educational material from a team of clinic experts, the site provides information specific to veterans and medical practitioners, with some information provided for doctors only. The focus of the program is to improve the use of medicines along with the utilisation of related health services in the veteran community.
Regardless of who is seen, it is important that the doctor, specialist or allied health provider is aware of the connection to the defence services. Not only will this influence their diagnosis and treatment but will also allow them to identify eligible services that may be applicable.