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Army November 8, 2012
THE new health services con-
tract is designed to continue
to to provide "high quality
health care in a timely fash-
ion to our people when it is need-
ed", according to Commander Joint
Health RAdm Robyn Walker.
Defence Science and Personnel
Minister Warren Snowdon said
Defence's contract with Medibank
Health Solutions contained stronger
monitoring and quality assurance
measures than under previous health
"Under this contract there will
be no reduction in health care enti-
tlements to ADF members," Mr
"Our servicemen and women
will continue to receive the highest
quality of health care services."
He said the contract included
detailed performance measures and
reporting requirements related to
delivery of health care services and
Defence retains full respon-
sibility for, and oversight of, the
healthcare services provided, not
Medibank Health Solutions.
RAdm Walker said the new con-
tract was designed to provide con-
sistent services around the country.
Previously, regional health cen-
tres established their own arrange-
ments with medical providers.
The new agreement will stand-
ardise arrangements under a nation-
al system, which will also relieve
the administrative burden on units
with national invoicing.
Members of the ADF will retain
the right to a second opinion if they
are not happy with their service.
Existing specialist health provid-
ers are in talks with Medibank about
their individual circumstances, but
RAdm Walker said the negotiations
were a commercial matter between
She said a report that only medi-
cal practitioners who signed the new
contract would be eligible to treat
ADF personnel was untrue.
"If a member requires treat-
ment and that is only achiev-
able through a specialist who
is not currently contracted to
Medibank, we still reserve the
right to use that person if it is the
best medical option available,"
For most treatments and servic-
es, ADF members should not see
Promise of better care
MEMBERS who fall sick or
become injured after hours
or in stand down periods
can expect better support
under the new health ser-
The existing 1800 IM
SICK hotline will be cen-
tralised to an existing
established medical pro-
vider focused on assisting
with medical attention and
advice to ADF members
when service health care is
Under the old system
the number would route
through to an available
ADF health centre, which
could have been interstate
with a medical staff that
may have been unfamiliar
with the member's area.
The new system will
have the call answered by
a central centre specialis-
ing in triaging medical situ-
ations over the phone and
able to provide advice on
regional medical facilities
1800 IM SICK
RAdm Walker said privacy con-
cerns were also unfounded.
"No medical-in-confidence infor-
mation will be released without the
consent of the patients," she said.
"The contract stipulated a report
was expected back in a reasonable
amount of time after a member had
seen a specialist.
"This is no different to how it has
been done previously; it's now just
written into the contract."
Transition to the new four-year
contract started in July and was due
to be completed by November 5.
If any ADF member experienc-
es medical treatment they are not
pleased with, they are encouraged to
contact their local health centre and
use the health care complaint system.
The Joint Health Commander says ADF members will not lose services under a new contract, Cpl Nick Wiseman reports.
Highest quality: Registered
nurse Stacey checks blood
samples drawn at the Russell
Photo by LAC Bill Solomou
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