Updated skin cancer treatment procedure for veterans
29 June 2023
Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand (VA) serves approximately 13,000 veterans who are eligibile for support following military service.
Skin cancers, particularly in older veterans, are one of the most claimed for conditions. To ensure the best outcome for our veterans, VA has recently updated their treatment procedures for skin cancer.
College Medical Director Dr Luke Bradford explains that VA has worked closely with the College to ensure the best outcome for the Veterans.
“It’s been great to work with VA who, from the start, have aimed to put GPs at the centre of the veterans claims. We will work together to achieve the best possible outcome for veterans through the updated treatment procedure,” says Dr Bradford.
If you would like VA to fund treatment for a skin cancer, it needs to be accepted as service related by VA. Check your veteran has the skin cancer condition as an accepted condition prior to treatment. The veteran must have eligibility (that is, qualifying service) and have made a successful claim for the condition to VA. If the condition is not an accepted condition, VA cannot pay for their treatment.
If the veteran requires treatment for a skin cancer that can’t be provided by your practice, refer them to Te Whatu Ora, even if you intend to request funding from VA.
VA must ensure that option has been explored before they make a decision.
If the treatment is unavailable in the public system or if the wait times for treatment will create a risk or burden to the veteran, VA will consider funding treatment from a private skin specialist. If you believe this is the case, complete this form.
“We’re confident that by keeping the GP at the centre of our veterans care and working with the College to obtain the care our veterans need, that we will deliver better health outcomes,” says Dr Mike O’Reilly, Clinical Advisor, Veterans’ Affairs.
For more information about this update please email Dr Mike O’Reilly, Clinical Advisor, Veterans’ Affairs: Michael.O'Reilly2@nzdf.mil.nz