Establishment of expert groups to shape a healthier Medicare

The Australian Government has appointed some of Australia’s most well-respected health professionals and consumer representatives to work closely with the government to deliver a healthier Medicare.

Page last updated: 04 June 2015

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4 June 2015

The Abbott Government has appointed some of Australia’s most well-respected health professionals and consumer representatives to work closely with the government to deliver a healthier Medicare.

Minister for Health Sussan Ley today announced the memberships of both the Government’s new Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce which will review the more than 5,500 services listed on the MBS to better align with contemporary clinical evidence and the Primary Health Care Advisory Group which will investigate options to provide better primary care when and where people need it.

Ms Ley also announced today that all Australians would be able to contribute to the process through a soon to be launched public submission process.

Ms Ley said these new expert groups would focus on delivering better patient outcomes and provide vital direction on the broad reform process of Medicare.

“The overwhelming feedback during my wide-ranging consultations was that the Medicare structure no longer efficiently supported patients and practitioners to manage chronic conditions or the complex interactions between primary and acute care,” Ms Ley said.

“Since beginning these consultations I have been focussed on seeking the advice of health professionals and consumers.

“These two groups will provide expert guidance to ensure Australians can continue to access quality primary health care and to ensure we have an effective and sustainable universal Medicare system.”

The Primary Health Care Advisory Group will be chaired by Dr Steve Hambleton and draws on individual expertise from across the health sector, including clinicians, allied health professionals, consumers and health economists to ensure that advice is developed with a whole of health system approach.

The MBS Review Taskforce will be chaired by Professor Bruce Robinson and will include clinicians, researchers, health technology assessment experts and consumers. The Taskforce is expected to establish working groups to implement its work programme over the next two years.

“The new expert groups will consider what needs to be changed and how it should happen to meet current and future requirements,” Ms Ley said.

“These groups bring together a broad range of perspectives from across the health system and will provide evidence-based advice.”

The list of committee members and more information can be found at the Department of Health's website.

The Primary Health Care Advisory Group will deliver a final report and the MBS Review Taskforce an interim report to Government by the end of 2015. This work will be undertaken in conjunction with the increased focus on improving education and compliance around MBS items.

The full list of committee members can be found at the above website. A consumer representative member is in the final stages of being appointed to the Medical Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce.

ENDS

Minister Ley’s Media Contact: James Murphy – 0478 333 974

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