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8.1 Overview

“Treatment” as defined by Section 13 of the MRCA:

means treatment provided, or action taken, with a view

to:

(a) restoring a person to physical or mental health or

maintaining a person in physical or mental health; or

(b) alleviating a person's suffering; or

(c) ensuring a person's social well-being.

For the purposes of providing treatment under the MRCA:

treatment includes:

(a) providing accommodation in a hospital or other institution,

or providing medical procedures, nursing care, social or

domestic assistance or transport; and

(b) supplying, renewing, maintaining and repairing artificial

replacements, medical aids and other aids and appliances;

and

(c) providing diagnostic and counselling services;

for the purposes of, or in connection with, any treatment.

Entitlement to treatment under the MRCA is derived from the acceptance by the MRCC of a claim for compensation following the acceptance of liability for:

  • a service injury sustained or a service disease contracted by a person; or
  • a service death.

The treatment provisions contained in Chapter 6 of the MRCA provide two Treatment Pathways for former members of the ADF.  Part 2 of Chapter 6 provides compensation for the cost of reasonable medical treatment, and is referred to as Treatment Pathway 1.  Part 3 of Chapter 6 provides treatment via the Repatriation Health Card system, and is referred to as Treatment Pathway 2.

A person may initially receive treatment for their accepted injury or disease under Defence regulations.  However, once a Permanent Forces member discharges (or following acceptance of liability for former members, reservists and Cadets) and if a condition is permanent such that it may require treatment in the future, the person should receive treatment via Treatment Pathway 2 and be provided with a Repatriation Health Card. Deciding a person should receive treatment via Treatment Pathway 2 should only occur after a review of the person's health care needs to ensure that the person's current treatment and any current treating providers are covered by the Repatriation Health Card system.

Delegates should note that it is Departmental Policy to issue a Repatriation Health Card, rather than provide treatment via Treatment Pathway 1, wherever practical.  Some people will have an automatic entitlement to a Gold Repatriation Health Card if they meet certain criteria as discussed in paragraph 8.2.2.  If a person meets any of these criteria, then the issue of a Gold Repatriation Health Card is automatic, and not discretionary, once a person discharges from the ADF.

A person with MRCA service may also be entitled to treatment under the VEA (paragraph 8.6.1 refers) if they meet the definition of a veteran, as defined in section 5C of the VEA, even if their eligible service is only on or after 1 July 2004.