ASA Engagement in the MBS Review

Date:11 Sept 2017

Since the MBS Review was first announced in 2015 the ASA has been active on behalf of members. Below is a summary of the level of engagement. 

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Introduction

Since the announcement of the MBS Review in 2015, the ASA has been actively campaigning on behalf of our membership. The ASA has approached the MBS Review Taskforce, the Federal Minister for Health, and their departments in pursuit of a fairer deal for all patients in Australia. Our delegations have always encouraged a more equitable and transparent process during our many meetings and submissions. During this time, the ASA has been represented at twelve important meetings. Those have been with the MBS Review Taskforce Chair and representatives, ANZCA, AMA, two Federal Health Ministers, the Prime Minister’s Office senior health advisor, the Opposition Leader, and the Federal Shadow Minister for Health. Our ASA senior delegation and the ASA MBS Review Subcommittee partook in these meetings, submissions, and letter writing. All activities have been communicated to our membership via our regular President’s enews, ASA magazine and social media. 

2001 The Turning Point – ASA RVG Introduced

The ASA RVG was introduced into the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) after a 30-year campaign by the ASA in 2001.

2015 The MBS Review Announced

The Federal Minister for Health approved the modernisation and review of the MBS with accompanying stakeholder’s forums. More than 5,700 items were considered of which 70% have not been amended since their creation. As part of this process a Taskforce Chaired by Professor Bruce Robinson was set up with the undertaking of creating over thirty different clinical committees. Committee chairs and members were appointed by the MBS Review Taskforce from their direct selection and from various nominees.

2016
 The Anaesthesia Clinical Committee (ACC)

ACC is announced. No one nominated by the ASA selected for the ACC or any of the other clinical committees. The ASA intensified its advocacy with several submissions and meetings with Taskforce representatives, the College and the Prime Minister’s Office senior health advisor.

2017 Preparations for the ACC Report

ASA advocacy had resulted in twelve important meetings with all major stakeholders accompanied by written submissions and letters. A new Federal Minister for Health was installed in January and after great effort the ASA managed to achieve a face to face meeting in August.

Next Steps

So far, the ASA has been represented in ten forums and twelve important meetings with Taskforce representatives, ANZCA, AMA, two Federal Health Ministers, the Prime Minister’s Office senior health advisor, the Opposition Leader, and the Federal Shadow Minister for Health. At this point, there is no clear indication when the Draft Report for anaesthesia will be available for public comment.

The ASA will continue to inform its membership as to our progress.