Veteran Health Checks

The aim of the program is to encourage early intervention to promote better health outcomes for veterans during their transition to civilian life.

Veteran Health Check. Stay Healthy. Feel Better. Get Connected.

This year has been an incredibly challenging year with every Australian feeling the pressures of adjusting to the ’new normal‘. Firstly with the impact of the bushfires earlier in the year and the ever-present and ongoing concerns regarding the Coronavirus pandemic.

These pressures are being felt across the nation however, they may present additional health challenges to veterans and their families. The Veteran Health Check is an opportunity for veterans to gain access to a comprehensive physical and mental health assessment and establish a relationship with a GP.

The aim of the program is to encourage early intervention to promote better health outcomes for veterans during their transition to civilian life.

It is an opportunity for GPs to build an understanding of a veteran patient’s health and wellbeing, and identify and address any physical and mental health conditions common in the years following transition from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and any new conditions that may arise due to the changes Australians are having to face during the pandemic.

Depending on eligibility, there are two ways the Veteran Health Check is funded by DVA:

    • Annual Veteran Health Check (DVA Veteran card), for those who transitioned since 1 July 2019, and
    • One-off Veteran Health Check (DVA Veteran Card or Medicare), available to all regardless of when they transition.

Annual Veteran Health Check

All ADF members who have transitioned out of the Defence Force since 1 July 2019 with at least one day of continuous full-time service are able to gain access to a fully-funded comprehensive health check from a GP each year for the first five years following transition The Annual Veteran Health Check is funded under DVA item numbers MT701, MT703, MT705 and MT707.

One-off Veteran health Check

Veterans that transitioned prior to 30 June 2019, are still able to gain access to the One-off Veteran Health Check at any time after they transition. The One-off Veteran Health Check is available for all former serving ADF members and is funded under MBS item numbers 701, 703, 705 and 707.

More information and tools to help you

The Veteran Health Check is specifically designed for veterans. Based on the needs of the patient, sessions can be billed for up to one hour or more to undertake the assessment. A 45 minute consultation is recommended.

Some key medical conditions that can impact on former service personnel, both in the immediate and longer term, include musculoskeletal conditions, hearing loss, tinnitus, PTSD and other mental health conditions, and other health issues that can arise from their military training and/or active service.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has designed a custom Veteran Health Check Assessment Tool to help you check for health conditions that are common to veterans. It includes screening processes for alcohol and substance use, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychological distress. To access the Veteran Health Check Assessment Tool, you can search ‘ADF post-discharge GP Health Assessment’ in Best Practice or MedicalDirector and the DVA website.

For more information, resources and tools to assist you with completing a Veteran Health Check with your patient, visit the DVA website.

A new Veteran Mental Health GP Assistance Hotline is also available for GPs who are treating veterans. It is attended by health experts clinically trained in veteran mental health issues. The hotline provides health practitioners with free expert advice on the unique and complex mental health issues that veterans can face. The Hotline is available by calling 1800 VET777 (1800 838 777).

 

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