Key messages

  • Nationally Funded Centres give Australians access to high-cost, low-demand health technologies.
  • A technology must be an established clinical practice to be granted Nationally Funded Centre status.

The Nationally Funded Centres (NFC) program provides all Australians with equitable access to certain high-cost, low-demand technologies and procedures.

NFCs are approved by the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) and funded by the jurisdictions.

AHMAC oversees all aspects of the NFC program and associated policy.

NFC eligibility

For a technology to be considered for provision in a Nationally Funded Centre, it must be an established clinical practice requiring a national population base for efficient and effective service provision. The scope of technology eligible for consideration as an NFC includes devices, prostheses, techniques, skills or expertise (or personnel with particular skills or expertise) and/or procedures, or combinations of these.

Service delivery of technologies approved as NFC programs may occur in one or more sites and is restricted to these sites.

Provision of health technology

Provision of some technologies in NFCs can be long-term, or short-term if the practice is diffused across the health system. In some instances, approval to provide a technology in an NFC may be withdrawn due to evidence not being available at the time of its approval.

Approved NFC programs are funded from a pool, with contributions coming from all states and territories according a population-based formula.

Assessments and reviews

New nominations for the NFC program are assessed by independent experts. Victorian health services seeking to establish a Nationally Funded Centre should first consult with the department.

Existing NFCs are reviewed every three to five years to determine ongoing NFC status.

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