As previously advised in Circular 34/2004, Victoria is committed to adhering to the Principles outlined in Clause 6 of the 2003-2008 Australian Health Care Agreement (AHCA). In addition to adhering to these Principles, public health services, public hospitals, denominational hospitals and multi-purpose services are required to comply with the related sections of the AHCA. These sections of the ACHA relate to issues such as compliance with national standards on patient election processes, hospital charges, not billing against the Medicare Benefits Schedule for services provided to public patients, and ensuring that public patients have access to the same clinical services as private patients.
The purpose of this circular is to remind public health services, public hospitals, denominational hospitals and multi-purpose services to ensure that all relevant staff understand and comply with the Principles and related terms of the AHCA. In particular, I would like to remind public health services, public hospitals, denominational hospitals and multi-purpose services of their obligations under clause 50 of the AHCA which requires that pharmaceuticals that are provided to any patient while receiving services as an admitted patient will be provided free of charge and cannot be claimed against the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
The Commonwealth Minister for Health can impose significant financial penalties on Victoria if the AHCA is breached.
Metropolitan Health and Aged Care Services