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COAG Improving Access to Primary Care in Rural and Remote Areas – COAG s19(2) Exemptions Initiative

What it does

COAG introduced the Section 19(2) Exemptions Initiative (Improving Access to Primary Care in Rural and Remote Areas Initiative) as part of the Better Health for All Australians Action Plan as part of the 2006-07 Federal Budget process.

Section 19(2) of the Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) prohibits the payment of Medicare benefits where other government funding is provided for that service.

The Initiative provides for exemptions under s19(2) of the Act to allow exempted eligible sites to claim against the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) for non-admitted, non-referred professional services (including nursing, midwifery, allied and dental services) provided in emergency departments and outpatient clinics.

New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory participate in the Initiative through bilateral Memoranda of Understanding with the Commonwealth.

What it achieves

The Initiative recognises that many patients in small rural and remote towns have limited access to primary health care services and that in response to a lack of private practices, many rural and remote public hospitals have employed medical officers to make traditional GP services available.

The following hospitals and health services have been approved under the Initiative:

Queensland (32 sites)

Babinda Hospital
Barcaldine Multipurpose Health Service
Boulia Primary Healthcare Centre
Cardwell Community Health Centre
Chinchilla Health Service
Collinsville Hospital
Dirranbandi Multipurpose Health Service
Eidsvold Health Service
Hughenden Health Centre
Inglewood Multipurpose Health Service
Injune Health Service
Jundah Primary Healthcare Care
Longreach Hospital
Mareeba District Hospital
Miles Health Service
Millmerran Health Service
Mitchell Hospital
Monto Health Service
Mundubbera Health Service
Mungindi Multipurpose Health Service
Oakey Health Services – Oakey Hospital
Quilpie Multipurpose Health Service
Richmond Health Centre
Roma Health Service
Stanthorpe Hospital
Surat Hospital
Tara Hospital
Taroom Hospital
Tully Hospital
Wallumbilla Health Service
Windorah Primary Healthcare Centre
Winton Multipurpose Health Service

WA (16 sites)

Carnavon Hospital
Derby Hospital
Exmouth Health Service
Fitzroy Crossing Health Service
Halls Creek Hospital
Kununurra District Hospital
Laverton District Hospital
Leonora District Hospital
Meekatharra Hospital
Norseman District Hospital
Onslow Hospital
Plantagenet – Cranbrook Health Service
Ravensthorpe Health Centre
Shark Bay Nursing Post
Warmun Health Clinic
Wyndham District Hospital

NT (4 sites)

Gove District Hospital
Jabiru Community Health Centre
Tennant Creek Hospital
Yulara Health Service

NSW (29 sites)

Berrigan Health Service
Boorowa Multipurpose Service
Coolamon Multipurpose Service
Culcairn Multipurpose Service
Dungog Community Hospital
Finley Health Service
Gloucester Soldiers Memorial Hospital & Gloucester Community Health Centre
Gundagai Health (Multipurpose) Service
Guyra Multipurpose Service
Hay Hospital
Henty Multipurpose Service
Hillston Hospital and Health Service
Holbrook Hospital
Jerilderie Hospital and Health Service
Lake Cargelligo Hospital and Health Service
Lockhart Hospital and Health Service
Merriwa Multipurpose Service
Murrumburrah-Harden Hospital and Health Service
Narranderra Health Service
Nyngan Hospital and Community Health Service
Scott Memorial Hospital Scone and Scone Community Health Centre
Temora Health Service
Tocumwal Health Service
Tumbarumba Multipurpose Service
Urana Health Multipurpose Service
Warialda Multi-Purpose Service
Wee Waa Community Hospital & Wee Waa Community Health Centre
West Wyalong Hospital
Wilson Memorial Community Hospital Murrurundi & Murrurundi Community Health Centre

Want more info?

Please contact your health department in your State or Territory.

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WA Department of Health>
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