Of the more than 5500 Medicare items, 70% of them have remained unchanged and unassessed since they were introduced.
The purpose of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review is to align the list of services funded by the Australian government with contemporary clinical practice. The Review will focus on whether patients are being offered the right service at the right time for the right reason, and whether it will provide them with a health benefit. And yes, it is aimed at enabling Medicare and our health system to sustain itself in the future, for a future population.
A broad consultation of clinicians, consumers and stakeholders has been promised, and individuals can have a say through the online consultation hub.
At APNA we believe this is a priority for the primary health care sector, our members and the Australian public. Primary health care nurses are in the perfect position to ensure we are supporting the delivery of modern, patient-focused care.
As your President, I encourage you to stay active and engaged in the ongoing review of the MBS.
The increase in public health spending is in proportion the rising costs of chronic disease and an ageing population – two areas APNA is heavily focused on – and this will continue to swell if we fail to review regularly to test the response against the demand of the Australian population health needs.
Investing in primary health care and prevention is the smart fiscal move, to keep people well and out of hospital.
And Health Minister Sussan Ley writes It’s time to fix our healthcare system for doctors and patients.