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ESO Round Table - summary of meeting 12 November 2015

The Ex-Service Organisation (ESO) Round Table met for the 32nd time in Canberra on 
12 November 2015.

The Chair welcomed Ms Pat McCabe to the ESO Round Table as the newly-elected 
National President of TPI Federation Australia.

The Chair made special mention of Air Vice-Marshal Tony Needham AM and 
Rear Admiral Robyn Walker AM RAN (an apology), who were both leaving their positions as members of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.  

Vetaffairs Update

Members were advised of proposed changes to the Departmental publication Vetaffairs.  It is proposed that up to two pages of each edition of Vetaffairs be dedicated to ex-service organisation news.

Terendak Repatriation

Members were provided with an update on the offer of repatriation to the families of all 35 Australians in the Terendak Military Cemetery.  This will remain a standing agenda item at the ESO Round Table until the repatriation has concluded in 2016.

Service Delivery Reform

An update was provided on the approach the Department is taking to improve client service delivery.  

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Members were informed of changes to the Pharmaceutical benefits Scheme (PBS.  Selected over-the-counter items will be removed from the PBS from 1 January 2016, and the Department is considering these items in terms of their use by and importance to veterans, with a view to determining items which may need to be transferred to the Repatriation Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits.

Private Hospital Procurement

An overview was provided for members regarding the Department’s arrangements with private hospitals.  DVA’s current contracting arrangements with private hospitals, including mental health private hospitals, are due to expire on 30 June 2016.

Review of DVA’s Dental and Allied Health Arrangements

Information was provided on DVA’s review of its dental and allied health arrangements.  The Indexation of dental and allied health provider fees from 1 July 2015 – 30 June 2018 was paused in the 2015-16 Budget.  Part of this measure included the commitment to review DVA’s dental and allied health arrangements.

Advocacy Training Review

Members were updated on the progress of the review of Veterans’ Advocacy Training.  Following the review, implementation of the Advocacy Training and Development Programme (ATDP) has begun.

Member submission: The Repat Foundation

AVM Espeland of the RAAFA and Paul Flynn, the Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital Research Foundation (HRF), informed members of the relaunch of the Repat Foundation following its merger with the HRF.

Digital Transition Strategy

Members were advised of the implementation of DVA’s Digital Transition Strategy, which seeks to move DVA away from paper-based practices.  Benefits could include reduced time taken to process claims and a better experience for clients.

The next meeting of the ESO Round Table is 12 April 2016.

 

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