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New-look veteran cards to offer better support


Morgan Liotta


26/11/2019 1:59:00 PM

The cards have been revamped to enhance veterans’ healthcare arrangements.

Veterans
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has a number of initiatives designed to support the unique healthcare needs of veterans.

Healthcare professionals delivering care to veterans can expect to start seeing their new-look Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Health Cards for treatments and services.
 
The changes come as part of a broader DVA initiative, acknowledging the unique nature of healthcare for veterans.
 
Existing DVA cards are to be progressively replaced as part of a phased replacement program, with the updated cards continuing to provide access to the same benefits for which card holders are eligible.
 
The new cards will also retain the current gold, white and orange colouring.
 
There are no changes to DVA veteran health entitlements or arrangements.
 
‘The new-look cards form a part of DVA’s [Australian Defence Veteran’s] Covenant [and] the ability to use the card for access to health services related to DVA-approved conditions has not changed,’ Dr Andrew Ramage, Chair of the RACGP Military Medicine Specific Interests network, confirmed to newsGP.
 
‘Some of the other elements of the Covenant associated with the card are concessions and benefits offered by businesses who have committed to recognising veterans through participation in the Australian Defence Veteran’s Covenant.
 
‘The DVA card is the identification required to indicate eligibility for these concessions and benefits.’  
 
Dr Ramage noted that although many veterans may already be aware of the updates to the cards and the Australian Defence Veteran’s Covenant, it is important that their healthcare providers, particularly GPs, are prepared with up-to-date information.

New-Cards-Mix.jpgThe new-look DVA cards will continue to provide access to the same benefits for eligible veterans.
 

‘The DVA recognises that GPs are central to the delivery of healthcare to veterans and provide an important function in assisting them to access the healthcare and social services they need,’ he said.
 
‘Of the approximately 600,000 veterans in the Australian community, only about 30% are actively engaged with the DVA and therefore getting communication about healthcare entitlements, social support, employment services, business concessions and benefits through DVA communications.
 
‘The other two-thirds may not be aware of their entitlements, including the non-liability health conditions covered by the DVA comprising cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis and any mental health condition. The qualification period for these conditions is one day of full-time service.’
 
For these reasons, Dr Ramage believes it is important for GPs to continue to ask patients if they have any history of military service.
 
‘[It is also important] to explore the positive and negative aspects of their experiences and that GPs encourage veterans they identify to engage with the DVA, even if it is simply to create a MyService account,’ he said.
 
‘Not only does this provide an opportunity to inform veterans of their entitlements, it also lets patients know that their GP is interested in their military service, the impacts – positive and negative – this may have had on their health, and how it has shaped who they are now.’
 
Dr Ramage said establishing a MyService account provides a convenient way to apply for assessment of service-related injuries or illnesses.
 
Part of the makeover includes an enhancement in functionality via an electronic version of the cards that can be saved on mobile devices, an arrangement Dr Ramage praises.
 
‘The benefit of the electronic card includes a list of the DVA-approved conditions, including the non-liability healthcare conditions for veterans,’ he said.
 
‘This will make it easier to identify whether the healthcare service being provided is related to an approved condition and will avoid the practice having to call the DVA to confirm this information.’
 
Veterans can apply for a new DVA card through MyService linked to their MyGov account. For new veterans or veterans who have not previously engaged with the DVA, setting up a MyService account is recommended.
 
For veterans who already hold a DVA card, the new card will be forwarded to them when their current card expires if they don’t request a new card through MyServices or by contacting DVA directly.
 
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A.Prof Bradley Charles Allan Murphy   27/11/2019 7:43:02 AM

It is also worth knowing that for veterans challenged accessing or engaging with electronic services they can call DVA on 1800555254 and when asked for a few words to describe their inquiry they should say "Recognition Program" and that will take them to the card services area where a quick and easy process to enroll them in the covenant and access their Covenant pin and certificate and access to the website for discounts through apod.com.au. This small gesture can mean a lot top our older veterans in particular and go a long way to foster an enhanced relationship with the GP and team. I leave my boxed pin on my desk to prompt the conversation...


A.Prof Bradley Charles Allan Murphy   27/11/2019 11:14:26 AM

It is also worth knowing that for veterans challenged accessing or engaging with electronic services they can call DVA on 1800555254 and when asked for a few words to describe their inquiry they should say "Recognition Program" and that will take them to the card services area where a quick and easy process to enroll them in the covenant and access their Covenant pin and certificate and access to the website for discounts through apod.com.au. This small gesture can mean a lot top our older veterans in particular and go a long way to foster an enhanced relationship with the GP and team. I leave my boxed pin on my desk to prompt the conversation...