Following the passage of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Single Treatment Pathway) Bill 2019 through Parliament, it is expected that veteran access to psychological and psychiatric services will be significantly improved.
Centre Alliance advocated the passage of the bill to government.
"Currently, a member of the Defence Force could retire for mental health reasons and find that they cannot continue their treatment simply because they have been discharged," a release from Centre Alliance reads.
"This negatively impacts a veteran's continuity of mental health care, which risked devastating consequences
"Likewise, many veterans with long standing complex mental health issues are forced to travel long distances to see a physician that accepts the Department of Veterans’ Affairs rate, where a local physician will not."
Senator Rex Patrick added, "After extensive discussion between the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Centre Alliance, the government has agreed to significantly improved access to necessary health care.
"From early 2020, veterans unable to access a mental health professional provided by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will instead be able to access other health professionals through the Defence health contract.
"People who have served in the Australian Defence Force deserve the best possible care, and this includes mental health care. Change advocated by Centre Alliance will remedy problems previously caused by the current arrangements.
"The result is that veterans’ access to mental health services has been significantly improved as a result of successful advocacy by Centre Alliance.
"This is a big win for our veterans suffering from mental health issues and their families."