Commander Joint Health and ADF Surgeon-General - Letter to the Editor - News Ltd
17 October 2012
The story “Health cuts hit military” published on Wednesday 17 October 2012 contains a number of misleading and incorrect statements.
Defence’s highest priority is the health and well being of its people. Without fit and healthy personnel, the ADF could not continue to succeed on operations. In June 2012, Defence entered into a $1.3 billion, four year contract with Medibank Health Solutions to provide health care services to ADF personnel across Australia.
The claim that the new contract represents “an assault on military entitlements” is simply wrong. Under this contract there will be no reduction in health care entitlements to ADF members.
The story claims that military personnel will receive lower standards of care under the contract. This is wrong. Our servicemen and women will continue to receive the highest quality of health care services. Importantly, Defence’s contract with Medibank Health Solutions contains monitoring and quality assurance measures to make sure our people get top quality and timely care.
The assertion that service personnel will not have a choice of medical specialists is also incorrect. The contract makes provision for a choice of providers where feasible noting there are some geographically isolated areas where there are limited health providers.
Medibank is continuing to engage specialist medical providers. The contract terms between Medibank and those specialists are a commercial matter between those two parties.
Defence has entered into the contract with Medibank Health Solutions for two important reasons, to ensure our people receive high quality medical care, while at the same time ensuring prudent use of taxpayers’ money.
Commander Joint Health and ADF Surgeon-General
17 October 2012