Health Ministers’ Meeting (HMM)

The Health Ministers Meeting (HMM) works to progress health issues of national importance which require cross-border collaboration. It is made up of the health ministers of each state and territory government, along with the Australian Government Minister for Health and Aged Care.

Role

The Health Ministers’ Meeting (HMM) provides leadership and facilitates joint decision making on health issues of national importance.

Through the HMM, health ministers:

  • consider legal and regulatory health matters covered under national law and provide governance on issues agreed to in national agreements
  • oversee work administered by ministerial authorities on behalf of government
  • deliver national health improvement strategies outlined in annual work plans
  • progress matters as delegated by National Cabinet.

In 2023, the HMM’s priorities were:

  • Improving care pathways by working with other ministerial Councils to respond to the recommendations of the Improving Care Pathways report
  • ​Commissioning a 2023 mid-term review of the National Health Reform Agreement
  • ​Responding to strains on the health workforce, including from COVID-19, and acute shortages particularly in rural and remote areas. HMM also prioritised urgent workforce related issues including registration standards and patient safety
  • Supporting funding reform that increased flexibility in national funding arrangements which supported more effective and efficient resource allocation and incentivised outcomes that mattered to patients
  • Implementing urgent reforms to Cosmetic Surgery and monitoring the impact of the reforms recommended and implemented in 2022.

The HMM’s priorities for 2024 are currently under development.

Ministers can also delegate some functions to the Health Chief Executives Forum (HCEF).

The former Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council (CHC)

As recommended by the Conran Review, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and Ministerial Forums were restructured as part of the new National Cabinet. The former COAG Health Council (CHC) is now the HMM.

Find out more about the revised health system architecture.

Information and documents related to CHC meetings and decisions are available from the National Library of Australia's web archive.

Reports and publications

Reports and discussion papers endorsed by health ministers include:

NHRA Mid-term Review Final Report – October 2023

  • The National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA) between the Commonwealth and all states and territories funds public hospital services and other health activities. In 2021-22, $59.2 billion in Commonwealth, state and territory funding was administered under the NHRA. The Mid-Term Review of the National Health Reform Agreement Addendum 2020-2025 (the Review) was jointly commissioned by all Health Ministers and undertaken by Ms Rosemary Huxtable AO PSM, with the final report delivered in October 2023.
  • The Review was conducted according to Clause 21 of the NHRA and further directions from Health Ministers, including consideration of the response to and ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Review’s findings were informed by a wide-ranging consultation process comprising workshops, interviews with key stakeholders, a targeted call for written submissions, and extensive data retrieval and analysis.
  • The Review concludes that there are opportunities to broaden the scope of the Agreement to take a whole of health system view, to better manage the interface between care sectors, to incorporate the key system enablers of workforce and digital health, and to establish priority actions in the areas of First Nations peoples’ health.

*Independent review of Australia’s regulatory settings relating to overseas health practitioners, (Kruk Review) *published on the Department of Finances website.

  • National Cabinet announced an independently led, rapid review of Australia’s regulatory settings related to health practitioner registration, skill and qualification recognition for overseas trained health professionals and international students who have studied in Australia.
  • The Kruk Review, undertaken by Ms Robyn Kruk AO recommends reforms to streamline regulatory settings to make it simpler, quicker and cheaper for international health practitioners to work in Australia. These reforms will drive productivity dividends for migrants, employers and communities, while maintaining health care quality and safety.
  • For more information.

National Obesity Strategy 2022–2032

  • Obesity is a major cause of preventable chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and at least thirteen cancers. The current rates of overweight and obesity in Australia are high. The National Obesity Strategy is a 10-year framework for action to prevent, reduce and treat overweight and obesity in Australia. It is endorsed by the Australian Government and state and territory governments. 

Look at previous reports and documents

Communiques

For previous communiques.

Members

State and territory government ministers responsible for health portfolios, along with the Australian Government Minister for Health and Aged Care, are members of the HMM.

Members take turns to fill the Chair and Deputy Chair roles.

JurisdictionMemberPortfolio
Australian Capital Territory 
(Chair) 
Ms Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA

Minister for Health

Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs

Minister for Families and Community Services

Victoria (Deputy Chair)Hon Mary-Anne Thomas MP

Minister for Health

Minister for Health Infrastructure

Minister for Medical Research

Leader of the House

QueenslandHon Shannon Fentiman MP

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services

Minister for Women

South AustraliaHon Chris Picton MPMinister for Health and Wellbeing
Australian GovernmentHon Mark Butler MP

Minister for Health and Aged Care

Deputy Leader of the House

New South WalesHon Ryan John Park MP

Minister for Health

Minister for Regional Health

Minister for the Illawarra and South Coast

Western AustraliaHon Amber-Jade Sanderson MLAMinister for Health, Mental Health
Tasmania

Hon Guy Barnett MP

 

Minister for Health

 Minister for Energy and Renewables

 Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Northern Territory

Hon Selena Uibo

 

 

 

Minister for Health

Minister for Remote Housing and Homelands

Minister for Parks and Rangers

Minister for Local Decision Making

Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Minister for Public Employment

Minister for Corporate and Digital Development

Meetings

Health Ministers Meetings occur regularly, via a mix of virtual and face-to-face meetings to discuss and progress health priorities. The meeting schedule is determined by agreement between Members.

Ministerial authorities and national bodies who report to the HMM

The following ministerial authorities and national bodies contribute to the national health system and report to the HMM when required:

Related committees or groups

National Cabinet

National Cabinet is a forum for the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers to meet and work collaboratively.

National Cabinet was established on 13 March 2020 and is chaired by the Prime Minister. It manages matters of national significance that need all governments to work together. National Cabinet may task the HMM with work to support development and implementation of national priorities.

Learn more about the structure of the National Cabinet

Health Chief Executives Forum (HCEF)

The Health Chief Executives Forum (HCEF) supports the Health Ministers’ Meeting to deliver agreed national priorities. Learn more about the HCEF.

Contact

Health Ministers Meeting and Health Chief Executives Forum

Contact the National Health Secretariat for information about the Health Ministers Meeting (HMM) or Health Chief Executives Forum (HCEF).
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