Private Health Ministerial Advisory Committee - Terms of Reference

This page contains the Terms of Reference for the Private Health Ministerial Advisory Committee

Page last updated: 07 October 2016

Printable version of the Terms of Reference (PDF 43 KB)

Purpose

The Private Health Ministerial Advisory Committee (the Committee) brings together key stakeholders in the private health sector to work in partnership on the development and implementation of possible reforms to private health insurance.

The Committee has a key role in advising the Minister on the Government’s reform agenda, including simplifying private health insurance and making it more transparent for consumers, taking costs out of the system to ease pressure on premium rises, and maximising the Commonwealth’s investment in the sector through the $6 billion Private Health Insurance Rebate.

Functions

The role of the Committee is to provide advice to Government on a series of reforms covering:
  • product design, including: more simplified consumer products; standard product categories; the role of exclusions and restrictions; appropriate excess levels; and the scope of services covered;
  • consumer information, including empowering informed choices, ensuring transparency, revamping the digital information gateway, appropriate provision of financial and clinical information, including five-yearly reviews of consumers’ needs;
  • regulation affecting affordability and transparency, including premium setting, second tier default benefits, broker transparency, risk equalisation, single billing, lifetime health cover, theatre banding and second tier committees;
  • providing better value for rural and remote consumers;
  • alternative funding models for general treatment; and
  • other issues as directed by the Minister.
The Committee will play a key role in maintaining an open dialogue with industry and in managing stakeholder expectations. In developing advice, the Committee members will ensure that the issues addressed will be discussed with their networks to the fullest degree possible.
To support these functions, members of the Committee will:
  • act in a collegiate and collaborative manner when debating and resolving issues; and
  • respect the confidentiality of Committee procedures.
The Committee will report to the Minister for Health.

Working Groups

In order to progress the development and implementation of the policy agenda more expeditiously, the Committee may establish working groups dedicated to particular tasks. Their terms of reference will be agreed by the Committee Chair and formally recorded in the Committee meeting minutes. Working groups will report to the Committee.

External Support

The Committee, and any working groups, may be supported through the commissioning of external advice (through the Department of Health) if required.

Membership

The Committee is chaired by an independent Chair. Members are appointed for their health industry knowledge, expertise and experience.
With the Chair’s prior approval, individuals and organisations who are not members may be invited to participate in the Committee discussions where they have particular knowledge, expertise or experience.

A quorum for a meeting is the Chair, or a nominee, and half the Committee membership plus one. A quorum of members must be present before a meeting can proceed. In the absence of the Chair, the Committee will nominate an acting Chair. A member who is unable to attend a meeting should advise the Chair and the Secretariat as soon as possible.

Confidentiality

Members are required to sign confidentiality agreements and declare any real or potential conflicts of interests at the commencement of each meeting. All committee members have an obligation to maintain confidence of all matters arising within the committee and to maintain this confidence even after their membership of the Committee has expired. Committee members are specifically obligated to refrain from making any comment or statement concerning any committee matter to any member of the media. The Chair or the Committee secretariat will coordinate all media contact.

Timing

The Committee will meet in person or via teleconference. The Committee is expected to meet eight times in 2016-17, six times in 2017-18 and four times in 2018-19. The Committee can meet more or less frequently if required, and will report to the Minister for Health.

Decisions and consideration of issues can be made out of session by the Committee including by teleconference or videoconference.

Secretariat

The Department of Health will provide the required level of secretariat support for the Chair, the Committee, and any working groups. Papers will be distributed to the Committee members at least five working days before a Committee meeting, except with the Chair’s agreement. The agenda for meetings will be agreed between the Chair and the Department.

In this section