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B36/1995 ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE PROVISION OF TREATMENT TO CANADIAN VISITORS
DATE OF ISSUE: 18 MAY 1995
ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE PROVISION OF TREATMENT TO CANADIAN VISITORS
The purpose of this instruction is to provide procedural guidelines concerning medical treatment for Canadian veterans visiting Australia.
Under the reciprocal agreement with the Canadian Department of Veterans' Affairs, visiting Canadian veterans are eligible for treatment of their service related conditions.
Over a number of years, the Canadians have continued to provide treatment for Australian veterans in Canada, and, by virtue of a Canada/USA agreement, in the USA. Unfortunately as a recent case revealed, we have not had systems in place to provide the same service to eligible Canadian visitors to Australia.
The problem is identification of the veteran on the Client Data Base (CDB). If the veteran's details do not appear on the CDB, any prior approval requests cannot be met and the Treatment Accounts section is unable to process payments via the Health Insurance Commission on behalf of the Department. We are then unable to recover the cost from Canada for any treatment provided to their veterans while visiting Australia. Another problem is that Canadian veterans have no means of identification when they seek treatment from a Department of Veterans' Affairs authorised provider.
To overcome these problems we propose that the following steps be taken;
On confirming a Canadian veteran's eligibility, that his/her details be entered onto the system through Client Registration using the appropriate Canadian file prefix. Recording of the veterans accepted conditions should then be recorded through EATERS. Eligibility is to be "offed" upon the veteran's departure.
The veteran be issued with a letter of authorisation, setting out his accepted disabilities for which treatment is available.
If the veteran is to be in Australia for a period of longer than 3 months they should also be issued with an STEC card. The card is to be handed back upon the veteran's return to Canada.
Veterans' Affairs (VA) Canada should have provided the veteran with a letter of identification, stating accepted conditions and may also have been in touch with the Department to advise of the veteran's imminent arrival. They prefer to communicate direct with Tasmanian State Office, which would then need to forward the documentation to the relevant State (which should be the State in which the veteran first arrives in Australia). If the veteran arrives unannounced and without a letter, the Tasmanian Office should be asked to contact VA Canada for confirmation of his/her eligibility.
The contact officer for enquiries regarding this instruction is Murray Chynoweth on telephone (06) 2896799.
A/g ASSISTANT SECRETARY