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Your local General Health Practitioner (GP) is well placed to provide confidential, all round health care for you and your family. A GP is a physician who does not specialize in one particular area of medicine. GPs provide routine health care (e.g., physical examinations, immunizations) and assess and treat many different conditions, including illnesses and injuries.
Who you choose to be your family GP is completely up to you, but you may like to consider factors such as recommendations from family and friends, gender, location, opening hours and the doctor’s interests (e.g. women’s health, mental health, etc). Please check with your chosen GP prior to your consultation or receiving treatment that they accept DVA Health Card arrangements, and present your DVA Gold or White Health Card at the commencement of your appointment.
The Australian Government’s online health service finder, HealthDirect, is a useful tool that can help you to find different service providers in your area. The DVA website has provided detailed instructions for how to use this search engine, available here.
It is your right to change health care providers at any time you choose. If you wish to change providers, you can organize to have your medical records transferred to your new provider – learn more below.
Specialised Medical Treatment (Specialists):
Should you require more specialized care for specific conditions, your GP may refer you to a qualified practitioner for specialist medical treatment. Referral letters (from your GP) are usually required to make appointments with specialists, so ensure you see your GP before contacting the specialist’s rooms. As with your GP, be sure to check with the medical specialist that they accept DVA Health Card arrangements prior to your consultation or receiving treatment and present your DVA Gold or White Health Card at the commencement of your appointment.
The Australian Government’s online health service finder, HealthDirect, is a useful tool that can also help you to find specialists in your area. The DVA website has provided detailed instructions for how to use this search engine, available here.
If you change your GP, your medical records should follow you. You can either authorise your old practice to provide a copy or summary of your health information to your new GP, or ask your new GP to request the information for you.
The Australian Government will be introducing My Health Record in 2019. My Health Record is an online summary of your key health information, which can be viewed securely online, from anywhere, at any time – even if you move or travel interstate. You can access your health information from any computer or device that’s connected to the internet. Your health information will also be available to your GP, specialist or hospital staff should you be admitted. They will be able to view important existing health information such as allergies, mediation, medical conditions and pathology test results as well as update your record for future reference.
You can choose to share your health information with the healthcare providers involved in your care by controlling your privacy and security settings. By allowing your doctors to upload, view and share documents in your My Health Record, they will have a more detailed picture with which to make decisions, diagnose and provide treatment to you. You can also ask that some information not be uploaded to your record.
A My Health Record will be created for every Australian who wants one after 31 January 2019. After then, you can permanently delete your record at any time. If you change your mind, you can also re-register for one in the future. If you don’t want a record created for you after 31 January 2019, you can opt out online.
More information can be found at www.myhealthrecord.gov.au.
Health Cards / DVA Health Benefits:
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs funds a range of health services that are clinically required to treat your particular health conditions. For more information about the health services available to the Veteran community, click here.
DVA issues health cards to eligible veterans and former members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), their widow(er)s and dependants. There are different eligibility requirements for each type of card.
A summary of the cards issued by DVA are as follows. More detailed information can be found at www.dva.gov.au/health-and-wellbeing/veterans-health-cards.
|Gold Card||‘DVA Health Card – All Conditions within Australia’ and ‘DVA Health Card — Totally & Permanently Incapacitated’ gives you access to a wide range of public and private health care services, for the treatment, at the department’s expense, of all your health care conditions whether war or service related or not.|
|White Card||‘DVA Health Card — Specific Conditions’ gives access to a range of public and private health care services for the treatment, at the department’s expense, of your disabilities and conditions accepted as war or service related. Veterans of the Australian Defence Force may also receive treatment for other specific conditions whether service related or not. These include cancer (malignant neoplasm), pulmonary tuberculosis and any mental health condition.|
|Orange Card||‘DVA Health Card Pharmaceuticals Only’ gives access to subsidised pharmaceuticals and medicines under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS). The Orange Card is issued to Commonwealth and allied veterans and mariners who meet the eligibility criteria. This card is for pharmaceuticals only and cannot be used for any medical or other health care treatment.|
|Commonwealth Seniors Health Card||available to eligible veterans, partners, and war widow(er)s who do not receive an income support pension from DVA or a pension or benefit from Centrelink and who meet an annual adjusted taxable income test.|