Home' Army News : March 17th 2011 Contents 6 NEWS
Army March 17, 2011
CHANGES to the ADF Family
Health Trial will begin on April 1 in
response to feedback from families
showing a desire for more choice and
flexibility in healthcare options.
The trial, aiming to assess a suitable
healthcare model for ADF families,
started in May 2009 in several cities
A mid-2010 evaluation of 700 ADF
families found many wanted a greater
choice of general practitioner than the
doctors assigned to the trial.
In response, the Directorate of ADF
Dependant Healthcare has said eligible
families would be able to visit any gen-
eral practice and be reimbursed for out-
of-pocket expenses from April 1.
The Directorate said all Medicare-
recognised services provided in a
general practice would also now be
eligible for reimbursement through the
Medicare rebate and the Family Health
No fringe benefit tax (FBT) liability
applies on services that are bulk billed.
Only amounts claimed for reimburse-
ment will attract FBT.
The changes will also give families
greater flexibility in how they use the
current $320 dental provision, with
some allied health services such as
physiotherapy, optometry, chiroprac-
tory and podiatry eligible under the
For more information on the changes and how
to register for the trial go to the ADF health
site on the intranet or look under health on the
More med-class clarity
By Graham McBean
A REVISED five-tier system of
medical employment classifica-
tions will give Defence personnel a
clear understanding of where they
stand in terms of medical status.
The revised system begins its
five-year roll out from July 1, with
personnel migrated to the system as
they receive treatment or attend peri-
odical medical appointments.
New, more detailed classifications
for pregnancy and extended rehabili-
tation are important features of the
revision; some of these have already
been introduced into the MEC sys-
tem and have been successfully used
since August last year.
A significant difference of the
revised system is that there is more
flexibility, where appropriate, for
employment and deployment in the
Head of People Capability Maj-
Gen Craig Orme said the revised
MECs would provide Defence with
a simpler, more flexible system that
accurately reflected a Defence mem-
ber's state of health.
He said the revised system would
also better communicate a member's
health status to commanders and
supervisors without divulging confi-
"The old medical employment
categories were not providing the
flexibility to help people know what
they could do and what they couldn't
do," Maj-Gen Orme said.
"We have built a revised system
with more categories to better reflect
a member's state of health, their state
of employability and their state of
Maj-Gen Orme said a critical fea-
ture of the new system was improv-
ing the flexibility of employment and
deployment in the medical classifica-
He said a person with a certain
medical classification might not be
able to deploy as an infantryman in
the front-line but another person with
the same MEC might well be able
to deploy in operational support in a
"By providing a more flexible
range of classifications a person may
be able to deploy into operational
theatres in specific roles.
"So it is broadening the abil-
ity to use the workforce in a more
MEC 1: Fully deployable.
MEC 2: Deployable with limitations on
employment and deployment depend-
ing on the level of available health sup-
port and the physical requirements of
employment the environment.
MEC 3: Is a rehabilitation classification
that means there is some injury or ill-
ness, or pregnancy, and the member
is undergoing rehabilitation and cannot
be deployed. The intent is that wherever
possible the member will eventually go
back to a deployable classification.
MEC 4: A transition classification for
members who won't recover to the
medical standard required for their pre-
sent trade but may be transitioned to
a new trade or be offered work in their
current trade for a specified period.
MEC 5: A classification for members
who are in the process of separating
because of their medical condition.
This new classification is designed to
remove the ambiguity of the old medi-
cal classifications. Although personnel
are still not able to deploy while preg-
nant, the new classification effectively
communicates that pregnancy is no
longer mistakenly classified as an injury
Extended rehabilitation classification
The new classification is more closely
aligned to the 2004 Rehabilitation and
Compensation Act to give people the
time and support they need to get back
to their job. If returning to their old job
is not possible because of injury, mem-
bers will be trained for employment in a
similar job or other employment where
possible. The new classification also
extends the amount of time for reha-
bilitation and acknowledges that some
workplace injuries or wounds in action
might take longer to heal or recover.
Medically fit: The new medical classification system aims to let
personnel know where they stand in terms of deployability.
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