Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce Clinical Committees and Working Groups

CHF invites expressions of interest from consumer representatives who have NOT previously applied to join clinical committees which are reviewing Medicare benefits. Interested consumer representatives need to apply by midnight AEST on Sunday 6 May 2018

Medicare is Australia’s universal health scheme. It is a Commonwealth government program that guarantees all citizens (and some overseas visitors) have access to a wide range of health services at little or no cost.  The government has established a Medicare Review Taskforce to review all of the Medicare items to ensure they are aligned with contemporary clinical evidence and practice and improve health outcomes for patients.   Within the Taskforce’s brief there is considerable scope to review and advise on all aspects which would contribute to a modern, transparent and responsive system. This includes not only making recommendations about new items or services being added to the MBS, but also about a MBS structure that could better accommodate changing health service models.

The below Clinical Committees and Working Groups have been established to undertake the detailed review of MBS items. In some cases, the Taskforce has nominated consumer representatives to some of the Clinical Committees/Working Groups listed below.  Two consumer representatives will be appointed on each of committees and working groups, newly nominated consumer representatives can expect a level of mentorship and advice from those consumer representatives who are already involved with the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce Clinical Committees and Working Groups.

  1. General Practice and Primary Care (Phase 3) Clinical Committee

  2. Nurse Practitioner & Participating Midwife Working Group

  3. Allied health Working Group

  4. Mental Health Working Group

  5. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Working Group

  6. Psychiatry Clinical Committee

  7. Pain Management Clinical Committee

  8. Colorectal Surgery Clinical Committee

  9. General Surgery Clinical Committee

  10. Ophthalmology Clinical Committee

  11. Optometry Clinical Committee

  12. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Clinical Committee

  13. Paediatric Surgery Clinical Committee

  14. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Clinical Committee

  15. Thoracic Surgery Clinical Committee

  16. Vascular Surgery Clinical Committee

Consumer representatives support the Clinical Committees and Working Groups in achieving the MBS Review goals by:

  • Participating in committee meetings and deliberations to identify where changes are required to MBS items.

  • Providing consumer perspectives and engaging in the committee’s decision-making with emphasis on five key areas:

    1. Safety – current use levels, appropriate use, contemporary and safe practice equipment.

    2. Quality- high quality care, safe levels of practice, clinical guidelines and evidence.

    3. Access – appropriate use and access to items and access considering geographical location (e.g. rural and remote communities).

    4. Effectiveness - benefit for patient group.

    5. Cost Effectiveness value for money/out of pocket cost.

  • Assisting in pointing out where item descriptors can be written in a way that is understandable to patients yet still reflects the technicalities of the procedure undertaken.

  • Challenging the clinicians about what is accepted practice yet may not seem appropriate to health consumers.

  • Providing input into the Clinical Committee/Working Groups reports ensuring they are in plain English and reflect the consumers’ perspectives on the services funded under the MBS. These views are included in final reports to the MBS Review Taskforce and recommendations to the Health Minister. 

  • Evaluating MBS items in the scope of the Clinical Committee, including the findings from working groups and articulating consumer perspectives via the Clinical Committee to the Taskforce. 

The expected time commitment is twelve weeks.  The workload will consist of six face to face and teleconference meetings.  The first meeting is anticipated to take place in late May/early June 2018.  As this work is short term, we ask that consumer representatives only apply if they are able to commit to every meeting within the twelve week period.  Please note that sitting fees and travel costs will be covered for this work.

In order to bring a fresh consumer perspective to this work, the Department of Health requests applications from consumer representatives who have NOT previously applied to MBS Clinical Committees either via CHF or directly with the MBS Review team at the Department of Health. Technical expertise is not required, but experience as a consumer representative and familiarity with the subject area from a consumer perspective are strongly desired.  Consumer representatives bring an essential community perspective to committee deliberations, and do so in accordance with the evidence regarding the imperative for co-design in health policy and research. 

Please note that the Department of Health has asked CHF to provide a shortlist of three consumer representatives for each of the Clinical Committees/Working Groups for the MBS Review Taskforce’s consideration.

CHF invites expressions of interest from consumer representatives who have NOT previously applied to MBS Clinical Committees by midnight AEST on Sunday 6 May 2018.  Interested consumer representatives will need to:

1.      Complete a CHF nomination form available online at  Please specify which of the Clinical Committees and/or Working Groups are of interest to you on your form.

2.      Attach a letter of endorsement from a supporting health consumer organisation and/or provide sound demonstration of your links with a consumer base.  This letter ensures that consumer representatives are accountable to consumers.  Please note that the health consumer group need not be a CHF member.  This process ensures consumer representatives are placed with the confidence of consumers, and have in place a consultative base enabling reps to draw from and report to consumers.

3.      Attach a short CV in pdf format which CHF will in turn forward on to the Department of Health

Please contact Ghislaine Martin on 02 6273 5444 or via email at should you have any queries.

Expressions of interest close at midnight AEST Sunday 6 May 2018