Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 2 2009 Contents 33
he health and well-being of all army
personnel is in good hands with the
formation of the new Directorate of army
Health (DaH) within Director general
Personnel – army (DgPeRs-a).
DGPERS-A Brigadier Gerard Fogarty said the new
directorate was created so that the Chief of Army could have
a more active say on the health and well-being of members.
“We know that the provision of health care is an
important component of the employment offer and we want
to continually improve on the health care and well being of
our members,” BRIG Fogarty said.
Under the direction of Colonel Stephan Rudzki, the
directorate is tasked with the quality assurance of health
care within Army, and the promotion of initiatives that will
improve outcomes for seriously-injured Army personnel.
“We are working on a range of new initiatives which
will aim to provide improvements in the areas of medical
employment classification, rehabilitation and compensation
advice,” COL Rudzki said.
Army is focusing effort on educating soldiers and
commanders about the causes and effects of major mental health
disorders, particularly Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“We are looking at developing a PTSD awareness
package that will provide useful information for commanders
on the recognition and management of soldiers suffering
from PTSD,” COL Rudzki said.
“Early recognition and commencement of appropriate
treatment will maximise soldiers’ ability to return to being
fully effective. We want people to understand that soldiers
who suffer from the effects of traumatic exposure can still be
Improving the psychological resilience of Army personnel
is also very important and DAH is working with Joint Health
Command to develop a comprehensive training package that
will cover initial entry, pre-deployment and post-deployment.
A trial of the program at Army Recruit Training Centre has
been very successful.
Extending the period of rehabilitation and retraining
available to members after a severe injury will be another
improvement that members will benefit from.
“Seriously injured soldiers need a long time to recover.
Previously we set a 12-month limit for rehabilitation before
consideration for transition at the Medical Employment
Classification Review Board,” COL Rudzki said.
“As we get more battle casualties this is no longer an
appropriate solution and we are proposing policy changes
that will offer a minimum of two and up to six years of
rehabilitation depending on the individual case.”
Filling out compensation claims for injuries can also
be a very stressful and confusing time for members, but the
team at DAH is looking at ways to support injured members.
“We want to provide our injured people with the
best possible advice on compensation and to do this we
are setting up regional teams of reservists to provide
“These teams will provide Commanding Officers and
members with information on how to lodge compensation
claims with Department of Veterans Affairs and also to help
people through the appeals process if required. Soldiers will
benefit if their claims are accepted early instead of the usual
rush to complete them just prior to discharge,” Col Rudzki said.
An extensive review of the PUHLEEMS employment
standard and its relationship to the Medical Employment
Classification system is being undertaken by DAH. It is
anticipated that revised medical standards will allow more
soldiers to deploy to Main Support Base areas that may
otherwise have been precluded. A new classification is also
being proposed for soldiers who are employable but not
deployable and this classification will extend up to five years
before transition action is considered.
“The review aims to provide important and positive
developments for our members by proposing new medical
classifications to provide members with medical conditions
more deployment options,” COL Rudzki said.
Work and Lifestyle Balance
Army is taking very seriously the improvement in work
life balance of its members. DGPERS-A keeps a very close
eye on the results of the Defence Attitude Survey and this
has shown that members want more work/ lifestyle balance
and location stability.
“We have been listening to what people have been
telling us in the survey and what we have heard from soldiers
is that they want to stay in their posting location longer,”
BRIG Fogarty said.
“We are working on standard three-year tenure
for all soldier and officer postings to allow members
greater location stability. This, teamed with eight-month
deployments, will give members longer periods of respite
and time with their families.
“Overall, Army’s separation rates within its full-time
trained force are now below targets which are a reflection
of the significant effort during recent years to provide a more
competitive conditions of service package for our people.
“In 2009 you will see a range of exciting personnel
initiatives being developed and implemented and I am
looking forward to seeing the results in improved outcomes
for our people and their families,” BRIG Fogarty said.
To contact the Directorate of army Health:
COL Stephan Rudzki, Director Army Health Ph: 6266 6162
LTCOL Fred Parker, SO1 Health Operations
Ph: 6266 6211
LTCOL Roger Holmes, SO1 Health Capability Ph: 6266 6181
MAJ Alison Berlioz-Nott, SO1 Health Policy Ph: 6266 6256
or see the DgPeRs-a website for up to date
development in army personnel matters:
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