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Issues for Townsville's
Veteran Community

Providers ceasing to offer DVA service

There have been a few providers of service that have withdrawn from serving DVA clients in recent times. So the pool is shrinking. The reasons given are that payment by DVA is slow and affects cashflow. They are seeking to engage more with NDIS (Social Services) and My Aged Care (Health and Aged Care) as a preference.

Urgency:

High

Waiting time for a psychiatrist is 6 - 9 months

Some of the problems stem from psychiatrists who lack the knowledge or are unwilling to complete DVA paperwork for veteran patients. There is a general lack of appreciation of the wellbeing needs of veterans.

Urgency:

High

Difficulty changing rehabilitation coordinators once assigned.

Numerous occasions occur when veterans find they are not comfortable with their assigned rehabilitation coordinator and would like to change. This is a vital role for a recovering veteran, and the fit needs to be right.

DVA Webpage on Role of the Rehab Coordinator

DVA News on Changed to the Rehab Program dated 9 Jan 2024

Urgency:

High

There are insufficient mentors and training opportunities in Townsville for the development of advocates

Growing the number of advocates under ATDP is difficult in Townsville due to the paucity of mentors and effective on-site training.

Urgency:

High

The number of physiotherapists who were available for referral is declining.

We have had a good pool of physiotherapists to whom we refer veterans, and some have been withdrawing their service. When asked, they state that they can't sustain their business on the current funding model and feel they can't do their job for veterans with complex conditions. 

Urgency:

High

Veterans facing financial stress when transitioning from incapacity payments to Aged Care.

Veterans moving from incapacity payments to aged/service pensions experience a significant drop in income that requires some adjusting. This seems to be particularly bad for couples.

Urgency:

Medium

There is a risk the 3 year legal aid support for veterans will not be renewed by the Queensland Government

The Queensland Government has been running a trial for veterans and families for three years and it is due to end on 30 Jun 2024. No one seems to know whether it is to be extended or permanently established or discontinuted.

Urgency:

Medium

Waiting time for a psychiatrist is 6 - 9 months

Some of the problems stem from psychiatrists who lack the knowledge or are unwilling to complete DVA paperwork for veteran patients. There is a general lack of appreciation of the wellbeing needs of veterans.

Urgency:

High

There is a lack of financial support/advice for veterans being awarded large sums of money for payouts and some are making big mistakes in handling the money.

We've seen some veterans awarded large sums with little or no financial advice to best manage it for the long term. Some have made poor decisions and find themselves in more trouble financially.

Urgency:

Low

Difficulty referring clients to paediatricians

There appears to be a shortage of paediatricians taking new referrals. This is particularly difficult for new arrivals trying to get into a paediatrician, on posting into Townsville, especially for NDIS considerations.

Urgency:

Low

Many ESOs can not seem to get access to BEST funding without compensation advocates which diminishes the wellbeing mission.

Many ESOs in Townsville support veterans and families but do not have compensation advocates, making securing BEST grants difficult. For BEST grants, there seems to be a bias toward compensation advocates (who support individual veteran's claims) over wellbeing advocates who support many more in a broader range of functions.

Urgency:

Low

Lack of community transport options

Insufficient cost-effective transport for veterans in a very spread-out community in Townsville. Public transport is poor. Causes isolation as veterans at home lack the opportunity to get to connections activities with mates.

Urgency:

Low

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