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THE new health services con-
tract is designed to continue to
provide "high quality health
care in a timely fashion to our
people when it is needed," according
to Commander Joint Health RADM
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 commercial arrangements.
"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
contract was designed to provide
consistent services around the
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 pro-
viders are in talks with Medibank
about their individual circum-
stances, but RADM Walker said
the negotiations were a commercial
matter between those parties.
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 treatment
and that is only achievable through
a specialist who is not currently
contracted to Medibank, we still
reserve the right to use that per-
son if it is the best medical option
available," she said.
For most treatments and ser-
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 central-
ised to an existing estab-
lished medical provider
focused on assisting with
medical attention and advice
to ADF members when
service health care is not
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
The new system will
have the call answered by a
central centre specialising in
triaging medical situations
over the phone and able to
provide advice on regional
medical facilities if needed.
1800 IM SICK
HIGHEST QUALITY: Registered
nurse Stacey at work.
Photo: LAC Bill Solomou
vices, ADF members should not see
RADM Walker said privacy con-
cerns were also unfounded.
"No medical-in-confidence informa-
tion will be released without the con-
sent 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 con-
tract started in July and was due to be
completed by November 5.
If any ADF member experiences
medical treatment they are not pleased
with, they are encouraged to contact
their local health centre and use the
health care complaint system.
Joint Health Commander says ADF members will not lose health services under a new contract, Cpl Nick Wiseman reports.
November 8, 2012
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