Moving towards better health outcomes for Veterans

Sep 18
Author:Tim Tran
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In a bid to achieve better health and social outcomes for Australian veterans, Labor has announced its dedication to introduce compulsory reporting on these matters to ensure effective policy and practices are in place.

Following our British counterpart which assures their soldiers “fair treatment, to be valued and respected as individuals, and that they (and their families) will be sustained and rewarded by commensurate terms and conditions of service”, the Labor party will draft a similar statement of principles as a work in progress – in which improvements and updates will pave the way for the best possible outcomes.

Ideally, future governments will be required to report to the national parliament on “how they are best meeting their responsibilities of support to our serving and ex-service personnel”.

When it comes to reporting, it is important to define the issues on hand as well as identifying and preventing future health issues that may arise. Some of the details the report would include are the claims processing times, mental health support and also suicide prevention.

In a report released by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on the Efficiency of Veterans Service Delivery – there are a few gaps in the claims processing times, especially seen in claims regarding permanent impairment with the target being 120 days but the actual number of days of processing being 156. By measuring these factors and reporting on them, there can be more attention applied to improve processes and systems to better serve these veterans.

It is necessary to provide coordinated support to ensure a veteran is accessing treatment and social support to reduce the risk of suicide and enhance the quality of life for participating veterans. Measuring the support especially for those who have been discharged from a hospital following an attempted suicide is critical. To improve overall mental health support and suicide prevention, the availability and waiting time for counselling services will be need to be measured.

Along with these details mentioned, there are potentially many more health outcomes that could be measured to improve the conditions of veterans. The Measuring Health Outcomes conference will help you develop and evaluate health outcomes, implement an evaluation system for different programs, and explore the methods for translating data into policy and practice and build partnerships with other organisations.

Join us at the conference on the 5th and 6th December 2018 at the Bayview Eden, Melbourne for an opportunity to come together with key stakeholders from Federal & State Government Departments as well as Primary Health Networks and Local Health Districts & Hospitals.

Submitted by Tim Tran

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