To qualify for care under DVA arrangements, the veteran must hold a DVA card. There are two types of cards:2
- White Card – covers healthcare for a specified condition or conditions
- Gold Card – covers all healthcare without restriction
General practitioners (GPs) who believe their patient is an ex-service person with a condition that may be covered under DVA arrangements can refer that patient to the welfare officers of ex-service organisations (eg Returned Services League [RSL]). This is also the case for their spouse/partner when their death may have been caused by such a condition.
The use of these welfare officers considerably shortens the time it takes to acquire the necessary approval from the DVA. Patients who served in a war zone and developed a malignancy or tuberculosis are covered under what is called a ‘no liability White Card’; obtaining one of these is a relatively brief process. Similarly, if the patient has served on a full-time basis in the ADF, a no liability White Card can be obtained to cover any mental health condition treatments.
GPs who are uncertain if their patient who is a veteran is covered under any DVA arrangements, or what conditions are covered under the White Card, can ring DVA’s Health Provider Line on 1800 550 457.