Gold Cards to Viet­nam vol­un­teers

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS - AN­NIKA SMETHURST

HUN­DREDS of doc­tors, nurses and anaes­thetists who vol­un­teered their ser­vices dur­ing the Viet­nam War will re­ceive vet­er­ans’ Gold Cards in a land­mark de­ci­sion by the Mor­ri­son Govern­ment.

Af­ter years of ad­vo­cacy, the Fed­eral Govern­ment has agreed to ex­tend the Gold Card to the med­i­cal per­son­nel giv­ing them ac­cess to the same med­i­cal ben­e­fits as other vet­er­ans.

Dur­ing the Viet­nam War, about 240 doc­tors and 210 nurses worked in Viet­nam as part of Aus­tralia’s con­tri­bu­tion the South­east Asia Treaty Or­gan­i­sa­tion aid pro­gram in South Viet­nam.

From 1964 to 1972, the vol­un­teers pro­vided med­i­cal ser­vices to Viet­namese civil­ians and helped train lo­cal staff.

Trea­surer Josh Fry­den­berg, who has pushed for the change for more than five years, said it had taken 50 years but “jus­tice is be­ing done”.

“Just like our sol­diers, th­ese med­i­cal per­son­nel are Aus­tralian he­roes, and it is so pleas­ing to see their cam­paign for jus­tice be suc­cess­ful.”

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