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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 26 October 2017) . . Page.. 4527 ..

Health—private practice fund
(Question No 525)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, upon notice, on 25 August 2017:

(1) Why was the private practice fund established.

(2) How is it funded.

(3) How much money was held in the fund as at 30 June 2017.

(4) How much money was allocated to the fund for 2017-18.

(5) Of the total of the amounts disclosed in parts (3) and (4), how much money is available for attendance at conferences held in 2017-18 (a) overseas and (b) in Australia.

(6) What is the purpose of any remaining amount.

(7) What is the nature of conferences typically attended and paid for from the private practice fund.

(8) Who can attend these conferences.

(9) What is the approval process.

(10) What classes of travel and accommodation are provided for attendees at conferences held (a) overseas and (b) in Australia.

Ms Fitzharris: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

1. The Private Practice Fund (PPF) was established to administer funds related to the employment arrangements of staff specialists which give them a right of private practice, under their Enterprise Bargaining Agreement (EBA).

2. The EBA allows staff specialists a choice of Private Practice Scheme, either a share of the private revenue they generate, or a fixed allowance. ACT Health submits invoices on behalf of staff specialists, to Medicare and private health funds for private patients, or the patient directly if they are non-eligible or compensable (such as worker’s compensation and car insurance claims), when they treat these patients while working for ACT Health.

The PPF receives funds based on the scheme choice of each staff specialist. There is no funding to the PPF from the fixed allowance scheme. Under the revenue sharing scheme, a facility fee is deducted and paid to ACT Health, and a payment to the specialist is deducted, consistent with the terms of the scheme. Any revenue remaining is transferred to the PPF. These funds are administered via a bank account that is separate from ACT Health appropriation funds. Interest generated in this bank account also feeds back into the PFF. In addition, Medical Education Expense (MEE) funding, which is a separate provision under the EBA, is funded by ACT Health and administered through the Private Practice Fund.

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