Doctors turning away Veterans: Contact Magazine

Contact Magazine ran a very disturbing article a few days ago.

It seems that the Department of Veterans Affairs has not increased the fees it will pay doctors to treat veterans since 2012. Consequently, veterans are being turned away by doctors:

The AMA’s bottom line was that doctors were not obliged to accept DVA cards for payment – and, in fact, the AMA said they had long been aware that an ever-increasing number of medical-service providers were refusing DVA cards for payment.

Warwick Hough, Director of the AMA’s General Practice and Workplace Policy Department said the problem was that DVA’s fee schedule had been frozen since 2012, but even before that, DVA generally paid a lower fee for services than a medical practitioner would otherwise charge…

…The doctor who refused to take me on as a DVA patient phoned me to directly explain his position.

He said his current policy was not to accept any new DVA patients where a DVA card was the preferred payment method, simply because DVA did not pay a fair and reasonable fee.

He also said that he was legally barred from charging veteran clients a ‘gap’ under a DVA-payment arrangement, even if they were willing.

Full article here.

If true, this is outrageous.

Veterans who serve this nation are entitled to have their health care costs met by the government for injuries that they have sustained in uniform. It appears, for many years, this has not been occurring, particularly where mental health treatment is required.

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of nine children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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  1. Funny that they could keep paying Sharrouf’s disability pension without qualms for quite a few years.

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  2. Our Government and the A M A ,should bow their heads in shame !
    At this disgusting treatment of our veterans,who have kept them and Australia safe !

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    • GP’s and specialists have been treating veterans at discounted rates for most of the 20th century and into the 21st century. I have had contact during my 20+ years in the military medical area with specialists who freely admitted that they were loosing money treating veterans but did it out of obligation to respect their past service. Up until the 1980’s a lot of GP’s and specialists had seen war service and happily treated their mates for lower payments. The DVA for years took advantage of this by setting their refunds lower. Economics and the demographics of medical practitioners has now caught up with the DVA. Practice costs are not less when you treat veterans and like the rest of Australia hasalways done the current population of medico’s cannot afford to support through lesser payments the meanness of the Government towards their veterans.

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      • All those points are right on the money Kevin.

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