When Ron was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he knew he would have a difficult slog ahead. Not only would he have to travel from his home in Mackay to Brisbane for specialist treatment, he would have to do it alone, as his wife had her hands full caring for her elderly mother.
With his usual level of tenacity and determination, he arranged his appointments, booked his travel and accommodation, and prepared himself emotionally for the treatment ahead.
Ron met with his specialists and, after lengthy deliberations chose the most non-invasive form of surgery, even though it came with a heavy price tag. His out-of-pocket expenses were mounting.
At one of his appointments, Ron casually mentioned to his specialist that he was a Vietnam Veteran. This simple conversation filler was to change his experience for the better.
His specialist immediately referred him to the RSL Veteran Services Officer based on-site at Greenslopes Private Hospital. In his first meeting with RSL Officer, Ron Bird, Ron learnt that, as a Vietnam Veteran, he was entitled to recover all of the medical treatment expenses associated with his prostate cancer through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). They immediately set about completing the paperwork and, within days, Ron was able to claim reimbursement for the cost of his surgery. He was also able to claim some of his travel and accommodation expenses.
Importantly, this is not a one-off event as Ron is also eligible, and will be issued with, a DVA White Card to cover all cancer treatment.
Ron is not a member of the RSL nor, to his thinking, had he any reason to contact the RSL when he found out he was ill. Yet, once connected with us, we assisted him without bias and ensured that, as a former member of the Australian Defence Forces, he received the compensation that was due to him. In addition, we assisted him to complete a Disability Pension claim linking the cancer to his Vietnam Service which, if successful, will provide ongoing financial assistance to Ron and his family.
Ron is now well on the road to recovery, and grateful for the assistance he received from the RSL. He is keen to share his story to let others in similar situations know that we are here for them.
RSL (Queensland Branch) is committed to ensuring that those who have served receive the compensation they so richly deserve. We help them to understand the medical entitlements available to them. For those who need to travel to Brisbane for appointments, we can assist with travel concessions. And for those who need somewhere to stay while receiving treatment or while convalescing post-treatment, we also offer accommodation facilities for them and their partners.