20. Mefloquine Dispatches: 1800 MEFLOQUINE, 10th May 2019 (Final)

by Shane Granger

I am at the RSL sub-branch. We sit in a small office, my Advocate and I awaiting our coffees from the café next door. We chat about things that are going on in our lives. It is one of our little rituals.

The coffee arrives. We move on to business.

L* (my Advocate) thinks we should ring the 1800-Mefloquine number today before we put in any paperwork. Mefloquine, unlike other defence related injuries has its own helpline in 2019.

I don’t handle calls to the DVA very well but L* is there to do the talking so I agree.

We call 1800-MEFLOQUINE.

The young lady who answers the phone is professional, personable, helpful but doesn’t know anything about mefloquine.

We are told that the 1800-MEFLOQUINE number is now going through to the main contact line and there are no specialists available to talk to. It seems the call-line is about to be archived.

Another frustration. My anger at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs lack of care evolves into a Freedom of Information (FOI) request some months later.

I get one document. Even though my Advocate repeatedly requested information in relation to mefloquine and support by the Department the drug isn’t even mentioned in the call log on that day.


All other documents were withheld by the Department. To protect the DVA.