I look forward to your report on service delivery. I'm not sure when it will be tabled, but I do look forward to it. The last time ACVA tabled a report, there was stuff that we did use and it was very useful, so I'm looking forward to it.
For sure it is known, not just with suicide but in treating mental health in general, that the faster we can get them into treatment, the faster we can get them the care they need and the better it is for the individual. It's probably true for all illnesses. With any delays in approvals or getting them into treatment, there's an impact. That's why we're working so hard on the service delivery review that the department has been doing, but also on how to modernize our systems, get more stuff online—eliminating some of the bureaucracy is maybe the best word to use—to move it forward.
Understanding that we are governed by a multitude of acts and regulations that are laws, I can't just decide that I'm going to do X. There's a law that I have to comply with. That said, we are doing some work on that. The health care provisions are one we're starting to look into, and the financial benefit suite that we have. At the end of the day, where we're trying to go, and we've really undertaken this in the last little bit, is focusing on the veteran's well-being. You'll hear a lot about veteran-centricity, veteran-centric not program-centric, and not just making sure all the boxes in the system are.... What does the veteran need, when, and how? Let's get to it and let's get them trained.
Unfortunately, we're still heavy on the administration, and I don't mean staff when I say that, please. I mean the documentation and some of the stuff that we need to do, and sometimes it's to comply with acts. People like to say, that's what the act says. I am not a lawyer. I've been in the public service a long time, so I ask them to show me in the act where it says that. Often, over time, and this is my eighth department, people start adding requirements because of one bad apple somewhere throughout the years, and all of a sudden that becomes the policy.
Let's eliminate that policy, and our minister and deputy minister have really challenged the department to get rid of these areas, ensuring though that we don't break laws and we follow what we're supposed to. We have to or the OAG will come in and give recommendations, but let's take care of our veterans. The bottom line is care, compassion, and respect, and not just saying those words but getting them there.
In mental health, with 16 weeks, okay, I'm meeting my service standard but it's a long time to get your diagnosis and treatment. We know that and we're trying to do that much faster. For some other stuff, maybe it's acceptable.