Review of the Multi-Purpose Services Program

The purpose of the review was to assess whether the Multi-Purpose Services (MPS) Program is an appropriate, effective and fair way to deliver aged care services in regional and remote areas. The review report makes 12 recommendations to address challenges and improve the program.

Why the review was done

The Department of Health commissioned the review to find out:

  • how well the program is achieving its objectives and whether it has any unintended outcomes
  •  the impact of broader aged care policy and regulatory changes on MPS
  • whether the MPS program funding model is an effective use of Commonwealth funds to deliver aged care services

The findings from the review will inform the ongoing planning, development (including establishing services) and continuous improvement of the program.

The Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017 also recommended a review of the MPS Program to make sure that:

  • service delivery models are in line with mainstream aged care programs
  • services for aged care clients and providers are consistent
  • services are located to make best use of funding

When the review took place

The review began in September 2018 and finished in October 2019.

Who did the review

The independent reviewers were a team from the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation (CHERE).

Who the reviewers consulted

The review consulted various stakeholders, including:

  • all MPS service providers
  • MPS staff, residents, clients and families
  • local community stakeholders, health services and other aged care providers
  • Australian Government and state and territory government staff
  • state and territory health departments
  • national aged care and health organisations
  • other peak bodies

A variety of methods were used to collect information, including:

  • workshops
  • an online survey
  • formal and informal interviews
  • data requests
  • focus groups

Reviewers also visited a cross-section of MPS sites between February and April 2019 to provide qualitative case study data.

What the review recommended

The review found that the MPS Program is a sound model for delivering integrated health and aged care services in rural and remote communities.

The review made 12 recommendations to address challenges faced by MPS and to improve the program. Recommendations were grouped according to whether they require joint government consideration or whether they are primarily the responsibility of the Australian Government.

Read the full list of recommendations in the review report.

Read our response to these recommendations.


If you have any questions about the review, contact our MPS team.

Multi-Purpose Services Program contact

Contact us if you have questions about the Multi-Purpose Services Program or want more information about flexible aged care services in regional and remote areas.
Date last updated:

Help us improve

If you would like a response please use the enquiries form instead.