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The DVA Health Card (Gold Card) entitles you to a range of health care services. Access to services is based on your clinical need. Services include GP and medical specialist visits. Other services include acupuncture, chiropractic, community nursing, convalescent care, exercise physiology, medical specialists, occupational therapy, pathology services, pharmaceutical items prescribed by your doctor, physiotherapy and podiatry. A referral from your doctor may be required to access some services. The service provider must be approved by DVA.

Limitations and restrictions Services not funded include naturopathy, iridology and homeopathy. When making a medical appointment, check the doctor/health provider will accept your Gold Card. Your Gold Card usually covers the full treatment cost and there should be no gap fee. If you receive a bill from a registered provider, do not pay it and contact DVA. DVA may not reimburse you if you have paid the account or if you have used your Medicare card or private heath insurance. It is advisable to maintain your Medicare card for any circumstance where a doctor or specialist does not accept the Gold Card.

On occasion, DVA may require that your doctor seeks prior approval for a service, and the doctor must explain why they believe the service is clinically required. For example, DVA will fund an MRI ordered by a specialist but may not fund an MRI requested by a GP unless prior authorisation has been granted. DVA will not cover you for any medical expenses incurred overseas. Contact DVA via www.dva.gov.au or tel 1800 555 254.

Ambulance DVA will pay for emergency ambulance transport to the nearest medical facility that can meet your clinical needs throughout Australia. If you are admitted to hospital when travelling away from home, upon discharge DVA will not pay for transport back to your usual residence. However, DVA will pay for transport by the most appropriate means to your temporary residence.

BreastScreen NSW provides free screening mammograms for women over the age of 50. DVA may provide assistance through the Rehabilitation Aids Program if clinically required, for example, wigs or mastectomy bras, tel 13 20 50.

Coordinated Veterans Care DVA and your GP use a team based approach to manage chronic or complex care conditions to minimise the risk of hospital admissions.

Dementia Australia provides support services and information about dementia, via www.dementia.org.au or tel 1800 100 500.

Dementia Support Australia provides 24 hours a day support for carers who are caring for someone with dementia who displays behaviour which causes distress or harm, via www.dementia.com.au or tel 1800 699 799.

Dental DVA will fund most necessary dental services for the prevention and treatment of oral disease, including general dental services, dental hygienist, fillings, crowns and bridges. Annual limits apply. Prior to any major work, your provider should explain if a co-payment is required. Dentures may be replaced every six years. Conditions apply.

Diabetes medication and equipment is supplied through your local pharmacy. Authorisation from your local doctor is necessary for some products. Contact the National Diabetes Services Scheme, tel 1300 136 588.

Hearing The Hearing Services Program is operated by the Office of Hearing and coordinates all hearing services on behalf of DVA. Gold Card holders are entitled to receive a free hearing assessment. There is a range of free devices you can choose from. DVA will pay the cost of the maintenance agreement for these devices. If you choose a ‘top-up’ device you will have to pay additional charges unless prior approval is obtained from DVA, tel 1800 500 726.

Hospital DVA will cover the cost of all charges in a public hospital or contracted private hospital. Non medical items may be at your expense. Non contracted private hospital admissions require DVA approval prior to admission. If admitted in an emergency to a non contracted hospital, seek DVA approval as soon as possible after admission. DVA will only pay for a private room if it is clinically necessary and available. All contracted hospitals should have a Patient Liaison Officer and a Discharge Planner to assist you whilst in hospital and ensure all services are in place to support you after discharge.

Optical A referral is not required for an optometrist appointment. You may have one initial and one subsequent consultation every year if you are over 65, or every three years if under 65. DVA will pay for glasses once every two years. Limits apply to the type of glasses and lenses. DVA has an approved range of frames. A referral is required for an ophthalmologist appointment. If there has been a significant change in your vision, contact DVA to gain approval for additional eye examinations or glasses. Vision Australia is able to assist people who have vision loss with various strategies and aids to remain independent and safe at home. DVA may be able to assist with the cost of equipment. Contact Vision Australia via www.visionaustralia.org or tel 1300 847 466.

Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) is a veteran community specific service giving access to equipment such as dressings, support stockings, continence pads, walkers, showering or toileting aids. Your doctor can provide the necessary referral to an appropriate allied health professional. An in-home assessment can assist to obtain equipment to enable you to safely remain at home and to enhance your recovery. Your doctor can also offer advice and make requests in writing to DVA for RAP aids and appliances, tel 1800 555 254.

Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme provides a wide range of prescribed pharmaceuticals and dressings at a concessional rate. Your doctor must obtain prior authorisation from DVA before prescribing a medication not usually covered by this scheme. Medications listed under this scheme are regularly reviewed.

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