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Investigation and Review of Statements of Principles by the RMA

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Can the RMA change its decision on a SOP?

    

 

There is new research in medicine all the time and the RMA keeps its SoPs as up to date as possible. This means that sometimes research reveals new factors. New factors can then be added. Sometimes new research shows that what was once thought to be a possible cause is not. That factor can be removed, or the SoP can be revoked. The RMA is able to investigate requests for new SoPs or changes to existing SoPs either formally or informally, or can investigate changes on its own initiative.     

 

Who can request a formal review of a SoP?

    

 

The following people may request a formal review of a SoP:

Request for an informal review of a SoP

A veteran or their representative may request an informal review of a SoP's contents by writing a letter to DVA or the RMA. This request may be in the light of a medical opinion or a medical article that they feel runs contrary to the SoP. There are no time limits imposed on the informal review. An informal decision by the RMA cannot be taken further to the Specialist Medical Review Council [glossary:(:]SMRC[glossary:):] for review.     

 

Request for a formal review of a SoP

    

VEA →

 

Section 196E(2) VEA Request must be on an approved form

Section 196C(4) VEA Review has been carried out in the last 12 months

Section 196F VEA Submissions to the Authority

 

VEA → (go back)

 

A formal request for a review of a SoP must be made on a form and lodged with the Department. In these circumstances, the RMA must conduct a review unless it has conducted a formal review of the same matter within the past twelve months, or if the RMA decides not to carry out the investigation under section 196CA of the VEA. The applicant may make a submission in writing to the RMA on any matter (other than a legal matter) relevant to the review. If, at the end of the review, the RMA declines to amend the SoP, it must provide reasons for its decision in writing. The SMRC can review a formal decision made by the RMA.     

 

On what basis can a formal review of a SoP be requested?

    

 

A person or organisation requesting a formal review may ask the RMA to:

  • carry out an investigation to determine whether a SoP can be made in respect of a particular disease, injury or death,
  • review a previous decision not to make a SoP in respect of a particular disease, injury or death, or
  • review the contents of an existing SoP.
Powers of the RMA to investigate

    

 

The RMA may not carry out any new research or experimentation for the purpose of an investigation. The RMA may ask the Secretary to:

  • forward any information relating to the kind of injury, disease or death under investigation;
  • in the possession of the Secretary, or
  • that the Secretary may obtain, or
  • carry out research or experimentation to obtain, confirm, or disprove, specific information about that kind of injury, disease or death.


 

 

The RMA is a panel of five medical and scientific experts appointed by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs after consultation with the ex-service and veteran community.

The role of the RMA is:

 

 

Statement of Principles means:

  • a Statement of Principles determined by the RMA under section 196B of the VEA; or
  • a determination made by the Repatriation Commission under section 180A of the VEA; or
  • a Statement of Principles concerning a particular kind of injury or disease made available to the VRB by the Repatriation Commission under paragraph 138(2)(a) of the VEA.

 

 

According to Section 179 of the VEA, the Commission is a body corporate under the name of Repatriation Commission.

 

 

For the purposes of Part VI of the VEA, a reference to a veteran is taken to be a reference to:

  • a veteran as defined in subsection 5C(1) of the VEA;
  • a member of the Forces as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA; or
  • a member of a Peacekeeping Force as defined in subsection 68(1) of the VEA.

For the purposes of Part VII of the VEA, according to subsection 5C(1), veteran means a person (including a deceased person):

  • who is taken to have rendered eligible war service, or
  • in respect of whom a pension is, or pensions are, payable under subsection 13(6) and
  • in Part III and Part VIIC of the VEA includes a person who is:

 

 

“Member of a Peacekeeping Force means a person who is serving, or has served, with a Peacekeeping Force outside Australia as an Australian member, or as a member of the Australian contingent, of that Peacekeeping Force."

The Department of Veterans' Affairs.

The SMRC is an independent statutory body that is able to review the decisions the the Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA) makes about Statement of Principles (SoPs). The SMRC will consider all of the material that was available to the RMA and any material that the review applicant wants to make available. There are no legal questions decided by the SMRC and no lawyers may address the SMRC. The SMRC decides whether it would have made a different decision than the RMA on the basis of the same sound medical-scientific evidence. Refer to sections 196V and 196W.

 

 

The SMRC is an independent statutory body that is able to review the decisions the the Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA) makes about Statement of Principles (SoPs). The SMRC will consider all of the material that was available to the RMA and any material that the review applicant wants to make available. There are no legal questions decided by the SMRC and no lawyers may address the SMRC. The SMRC decides whether it would have made a different decision than the RMA on the basis of the same sound medical-scientific evidence. Refer to sections 196V and 196W.

 

 

The SMRC is an independent statutory body that is able to review the decisions the the Repatriation Medical Authority (RMA) makes about Statement of Principles (SoPs). The SMRC will consider all of the material that was available to the RMA and any material that the review applicant wants to make available. There are no legal questions decided by the SMRC and no lawyers may address the SMRC. The SMRC decides whether it would have made a different decision than the RMA on the basis of the same sound medical-scientific evidence. Refer to sections 196V and 196W.

 

 

According to subsection 5D(1), disease means:

  • any physical or mental ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition (whether of sudden onset or gradual development), or
  • the recurrence of such an ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition,

but does not include:

  • the aggravation of such an ailment, disorder, defect or morbid condition, or
  • a temporary departure from:

the normal physiological state, or

the accepted ranges of physiological or biochemical measures,

that results from normal physiological stress (for example, the effect of exercise on blood pressure) or the temporary effect of extraneous agents (for example, alcohol on blood cholesterol levels).

According to subsection 5D(1), an injury means any physical or mental injury (including the recurrence of a physical or mental injury) but does not include:

  • a disease, or
  • the aggravation of a physical or mental injury.