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Media releases

The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel

MEDIA RELEASE

21 June 2019

Free annual health checks for personnel leaving defence force

FROM 1 July 2019, all Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel leaving full-time service can access a fully-funded comprehensive health check from a GP every year for the first five years.

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester today announced the expanded Veteran Health Checks that will help optimise the physical and mental health and wellbeing of veterans in the years following transition from the ADF.

“We know that early intervention is important in helping veterans enjoy positive health outcomes and manage their health during transition to civilian life,” Mr Chester said.

“Research such as the Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme identifies that current and former ADF members benefit from more support in the first five years post-discharge.

“This is why the Government has designed the Veteran Health Check specifically for veterans so they can access a community or family GP each year at no cost.

“The Government is committed to putting veterans and their families first and this is just one step we have taken to look after their mental and physical wellbeing.”

More broadly, the Australian Government provides more than $230 million a year towards veteran mental health, as part of more than $11 billion for veterans and their families in this year’s budget.

“I encourage all veterans to make the time for their Annual Veteran Health Check — get to know your GP so they can help you look after your health and wellbeing,” Mr Chester said.

“Your GP can make referrals for additional tests, treatment or assessment by other health professionals, and can refer you to relevant Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) services or programs. DVA will cover the entire cost of your Veteran Health Checks.”

ADF members who transition before 30 June 2019 will continue to be able to gain access to the comprehensive One-off Veteran Health Check (formerly known as the one-off ADF Post-Discharge GP Health Assessment) at any time post-transition.

For those in need of immediate mental health support and counselling, Open Arms – Veterans and Family Counselling Service can be contacted on 1800 011 046, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To find out more about Veteran Health Checks, please visit the AT-Ease website or call DVA on 1800 555 254.

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rachel Tharratt: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466

Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au