Austin Health – Ward 17 – backgrounder

DVA funds around $4.7 billion of health services for veterans each year, including more than $230 million for mental health services.

21 December 2019

Veterans access health services through a national network of public and private providers which accept DVA (White and Gold) as full payment for treating veterans, that is, no co-pay.

The budget for these services is demand driven and is therefore uncapped.

From time to time across the health sector as whole – public and private – patients will sometimes have to wait to access services, and access to treatment is generally determined by the treating health professional based on clinical need, and by the health services capacity to accept patients.

DVA does not dictate the clinical priority setting and other practices of health providers.

Once DVA is aware of any patients having difficulties accessing care, other treatment providers are sought, and assistance if offered to DVA clients to access alternative care, including transport arrangements.

Questions regarding the specific practices and programs offered by Austin Health are best directed to the Austin.

Open Arms is available exclusively to veterans and their families 24/7 by contacting them on 1800 011 046.

Routine mental health care needs can be accessed and provided via your local GP, and on referral for additional mental health treatment via DVA treatment card arrangements.

If a veteran, or indeed anyone, is experiencing an acute, or emergency mental health episode, the most appropriate place for accessing immediate treatment is in an Emergency Department.


Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling, provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit