Future Directions For The VVAA In Relation To The Male Vietnam Veteran Health Study

The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia is still assessing options in relation to the self-reported outcomes of the male Vietnam Veterans' Health Study.   While acknowledging the role of the Minister and the Department in providing the funding and support for the Study, it is vital that we hold strongly to our own, veterans', course.  We should also quietly congratulate ourselves for holding to the vision of achieving the study, and thank every Vietnam veteran who contributed to making the response so overwhelming.

The following points have been made to the Minister, the Secretary, the Repatriation Commission and certain members of the ex-Service community.  The members of the National Executive  believe that the things we are trying to achieve are justifiable and attainable, and follow naturally from the results of the study.  We are 100% certain that the validations will, with some minor variations, confirm the self-reported study.

  • The VVAA acknowledges the role of the Minister for Veterans Affairs, his staff and Departmental officers, in the funding, delivery and analysis of the first two phases of the Vietnam Veterans' Health Study.
  • The VVAA reluctantly accepts the need for the Government to confirm certain of the self-reported outcomes through validation, and will contribute to this process by:
    • actively encouraging veterans to participate; providing guidance to the validating authority; and
    • monitoring the process to ensure that individual data is isolated from the Department.
  • The VVAA will pursue through the Department and the Repatriation Medical Authority, the review of a range of illnesses and contributory factors, to incorporate the findings of the Morbidity Study into Statements of Principle and administrative instructions, with the aim of ensuring that they properly reflect the outcomes of service.
  • The VVAA will pursue changes to the Veterans' Entitlement Act, 1986 to incorporate provision for the children of Vietnam veterans suffering from illnesses as a result of a parent's service. These provisions should include:
    • treatment, including payment of medical costs, medicines, physiotherapy and prostheses;
    • assistance with ancillary medical equipment, building and vehicle modifications;
    • preventative and educative health programs; and
    • pensions for the maintenance of lifestyle.
  • The VVAA will work with the Ministers' Office, the Department and its agencies, as well as other veterans' organisations to identify appropriate strategies and achieve budget allocations that will permit the problems identified in the Study to be properly addressed.

Clive Mitchell-Taylor
National President
05 April 1998


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