Key messages

  • The Nationally Funded Centres (NFC) Program ensures access to selected expensive, low demand medical technologies and procedures for all Australians.
  • To be eligible for provision in an NFC, the service must be an established clinical practice requiring a wide population base.
  • NFC provision may be long- or short-term.
  • Assessments for new NFCs are undertaken by independent authorities.

Nationally Funded Centres Program

The Nationally Funded Centres (NFC) Program was established in 1990 to provide equitable access to certain high cost, low demand, new and emerging medical technologies and procedures.

Nationally Funded Centres are approved by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council (AHMAC) and funded by states and territories.

The AHMAC oversees all aspects of the NFC Program and associated policy. The NFC Program’s Guidance for governance, management, funding, establishment, review can be found on the NFC Program website.

NFC eligibility

For a technology or procedure to be considered for provision in a NFC, it must be an established clinical practice requiring a national population base for efficient and effective service provision. Eligibility 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.

NFC provision

Provision of some technologies in NFCs will be long-term. The duration will be shorter if the practice becomes diffused across the health system. In some instances, approval to provide a technology in an NFC may be withdrawn due to evidence not available at the time of its approval.

Assessments and review

Victorian health services seeking to establish a Nationally Funded Centre should first consult with the Department of Health & Human Services.

Assessments of new nominations for the NFC Program are undertaken by independent experts. Existing NFCs are formally reviewed every three to five years to determine their ongoing status as NFCs. Copies of previous reviews can be found on the NFC Program website.