ASA Engagement in the MBS Review

Published: 16 January 2019

Home » ASA Engagement in the MBS Review

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.

For the full commentary including relevant documents please log onto the ASA members site/MBS Review page


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. ASA MBS Review Subcommittee meets on 17 Sept 2017.

MBS Review session on Sunday October 8, 2017 ASA NSC

  • 13 Oct 2017 – ASA delegation meets with Dept of Health representatives in Canberra.
  • Rebuttal to draft ACC Report prepared/submitted
  • Draft alternate Report prepared/submitted

Nov 2017

ASA has a second meeting with ACC representatives
29 Nov 2017 – ACC ASA Teleconference

Dec 2017

ASA meets with Minister Hunt’s senior adviser in Canberra


  • June 2018: Key stakeholder meeting with Dept of Health representatives
  • July 2018: Ongoing collaboration with key stakeholders including ANZCA, academics and Dept of Health
  • 1 Oct 2018: Meeting (teleconference) with Minister Hunt to discuss DoH recommendations
  • Dec 2018: ASA communique (including AMA support) to members following release of ACC Report
  • Dec 2018: Minister accepts 19 “Agreed” changes remainder to be determined. Members updated of accepted changes


  • January 2019: Meeting with DoH to clarify agreed changes and possible Liaison Group
  • January 2019: MBS Review Taskforce letter Jan 2019
  • April 2019: ASA response to MBS Review Taskforce letter
  • May 2019: ASA calls for Professor Bruce Robinson’s resignation

Thank you

The ASA would like to sincerely thank the speakers Dr Jo Sutherland (ACC Chair), Ms Helen Maxwell-Wright (ACC Consumer Representative) and Dr Mark Sinclair (ASA Economic Advisory Committee Chair) for presenting at this session and taking questions from the at times, quite passionate audience.

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. The Report from the Anaesthesia Clinical Committee is now available and the ASA members have been emailed a communique after the ACC Report Release.

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

ASA members can view further related documents and information by logging onto the members site, MBS Review page.