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Media releases & speeches

The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Minister for Defence Materiel

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Claims of cuts to veterans’ hospitals are false

The Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, David Feeney, has falsely claimed cuts to veterans’ hospitals.

Hospital funding for veterans is uncapped. If there is a need, it will be paid for.

In the 2016-17 Budget there have been no cuts to services for veterans.

The Government is working to ensure that veterans and taxpayers get their best value for money.

This is why the Government is working with State and Territory Governments to ensure public hospitals are delivering services under the National Efficient Price.

This means providing high quality care at the best value for the tax-payer.

The National Efficient Price is not a new program. It was set up by the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority which received bipartisan support across the Commonwealth, States and Territories.

The 2016-17 Budget is good news for the veterans’ community.

The Turnbull Government is focussed on ensuring the mental health needs of our veterans are met through early intervention strategies, as well as improving our capability to provide better customer service and support for veterans and their families, now and into the future.

The Government is providing $37.9 million to extend the non-liability health care initiative, which expands eligibility for treatment of mental health conditions to all current and former permanent members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), irrespective of how long or when they served, or the type of service.

We have also listened to our veterans’ community and understand the need to fix the delays processing claims because of the outdated Department of Veterans’ Affairs ICT systems.

This is why we are investing a total of $24.8 million to design a transformation program that aims to deliver better customer service for veterans, underpinned by better processes and technology.

A major overhaul of Department of Veterans’ Affairs ICT systems would underpin significant improvements to the way the department conducts its business and, consequently, provides services to veterans and their families.

The Turnbull Government is also not proceeding with the 2014–15 Budget measure to end the three month backdating of veterans’ disability claims, reinstating funding of $37.8 million over the forward estimates.

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

 

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.