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Free ADF family health care trial expanded to Townsville, Darwin and Puckapunyal from late 2009



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THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

www.defence.gov.au

Friday, 17 October 2008 149/2008

FREE ADF FAMILY HEALTH CARE TRIAL EXPANDED TO TOWNSVILLE, DARWIN AND PUCKAPUNYAL FROM LATE 2009

The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon MP, today announced that the trial of free basic health care for ADF dependants will be expanded to include Townsville (QLD), Darwin (NT) and Puckapunyal (VIC) in late 2009.

The trial is being expanded to fully test the delivery model, and ensure the development of evidence based policy to implement the Government’s commitment to progressively extend free basic health care for ADF dependants.

The initial phase of the trial is set to commence in early 2009 for 2,700 ADF dependants within the Singleton (NSW), Cairns (QLD), Katherine (NT), East Sale (VIC) and the Karratha/Pilbara (WA) regions.

“In war and in peace, the men and women of our Australian Defence Force are supported by their families. We ask a lot of them, and we are committed to easing the pressures on those families,” said Mr Snowdon.

“One of the biggest challenges currently facing the Australian Defence Force is the shortage of the right people with the right skills, and the Family Healthcare initiative forms part of the Government’s retention and recruitment strategy.”

Under the trial, ADF dependants will be able to visit general practitioners at no cost for standard consultations.

ADF dependants will also receive a benefit of $300 per dependant per annum for basic dental services.

When the trial is expanded in late 2009, it will provide for a total of approximately 16,000 ADF dependants.

Media contacts:

Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon): 02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664