New ministerial advisory committee for prostheses

A new Australian committee has been established to advise the Minister for Health and Ageing on the listing and pricing of prostheses covered by private health insurance. Prostheses are items such as artificial hips, knees and lenses that can be implanted during a surgical procedure.

The Prostheses and Devices Committee has representation from key industry groups.

The committee will include:

  • Four clinicians: Professor David Weedon; Dr David Wood; Professor Peter Thursby; and Dr Allan Rosenberg.
  • Four members with a private health industry background: Ms Colleen McGann; Ms Lyn McDonald-Duke; Mr Bruce Levy and Dr Stan Goldstein.
  • Two members with a private hospital background: Ms Frances Simmonds and Mr Pat Grier.
  • A health consumer advocate: Ms Karen Carey-Hazell.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs: Mr Chris Harding; and
  • A member with a prostheses and devices industry background: Mr David Ross.

Professor David Weedon, a former federal president of the Australian Medical Association has agreed to be chair of the committee.

The new arrangements are designed to ensure that people with private health insurance have affordable access to quality prostheses. For every hospital procedure involving a prosthesis there will be at least one prosthesis available at no cost to the fund member.

Whilst managing costs is of importance, an overriding consideration is that Australians have access to quality prostheses.

Clinical Advisory Groups are currently reviewing items from the six major identified prostheses categories. Clinical Advisory Groups will report to the Prostheses and Devices Committee.

I look forward to receiving recommendations from the Prostheses and Devices Committee that will enable me to make decisions on the listing of prostheses for privately insured patients.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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