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To: The Hon Darren Chester MP Minister for Veterans’ Affairs; Minister for Defence Personnel and; Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
HELP create sustainable care for Veterans and their families
Dear Minister, please help create sustainable care for veterans, families and current serving members. Although there is no research supporting differences in treatment outcomes, the Department of Veterans Affairs funds sessions for veterans seen by a Clinical Psychologist at significantly higher rates than those seeking support from a Psychologist. Psychologists make up over 70% of the Psychological workforce and provide valuable clinical services to current and ex-serving members.
Further, Trigea’s application to tender for services for the ADF population - Schedule of Fees is not only set at different rates for Clinical Psychologists and Psychologists, but that clinical rates are significantly higher ($303 for a 50+ min consult) than those benchmarked by other service providers including VVCS, WorkCover and the Motor Accident Commission ($150-$180 per consult).
As an ex-serving ADF member, I am concerned at the impact that this will have on ADF members and their families in missing out on well needed services when budgets are unnecessarily exhausted through an overspend that is unsupported by evidence differentiating between psychological providers.
We would be most grateful if you could please provide some support to address the inequalities that currently face the Department of Veterans Affairs’ clients or ADF personnel that will be supported by Trigea (a joint initiative by Aspen Medical and Defence Health) should the tender for services be successful. Thank you for helping to create sustainable care for current ADF members, Veterans and their families.
Why is this important?
Research has shown that Military Veterans have more marital problems, family violence, their partners have higher levels of distress and, their children have more behavioural problems than Veterans without PTSD. Figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), between 2001 and 2015, reveal the tragedy of 292 current and ex-defence personnel taking their lives. This highlights the importance of sustainable access to psychological care for this particularly vulnerable group.