The requirement for veterans to get a new GP referral after every 12 health-care specialist appointments, which was supposed to commence next Monday, 1 July, has been deferred until 1 October.
Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester announced the change late today.
He said his department had listened to feedback from health professionals who asked for more time to consult on implementation and a desire for more support to accompany the changes.
“DVA has been instructed to work closely with allied health providers, GPs and the veteran community to ensure the new arrangements are properly communicated and implemented in a timely manner,” Mr Chester said.
Allied Health Professions Australia Chief Executive Officer Claire Hewat said her organisation’s members were grateful for the minister’s quick [one business day away from implementation] actions to delay the implementation of the new Treatment Cycle Initiative.
“The allied health sector is supportive of the introduction of the treatment cycle, but have been concerned about ensuring that veterans and the providers that support them are able to transition to the new system properly,” Ms Hewat said.
“The additional time will allow the sector to work with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to ensure a smooth and safe transition that ensures veterans do not miss out on vital care.”