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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 3609

Medical Services Advisory Committee

(Question No. 1375)

Mr Alexander asked the Minister for Health, in writing, on 14 March 2013:

In respect of the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC), (a) how many positive deliberations are yet to receive finance review and/or ministerial approval for the release of the evaluation report, and of these, how many submissions have completed all the necessary steps aside from finance review and ministerial approval, (b) for the calendar years (i) 2005, (ii) 2006, (iii) 2007, (iv) 2008, (v) 2009, (vi) 2010, (vii) 2011, (viii) 2012, and (ix) 2013 (to date), what was the average length of time between the final MSAC meeting for approval of a submission and the release of the report, and (c) is she aware of any cases of MSAC approvals deferred on financial grounds; if so, can she provide a list containing each deferred item.

Ms Plibersek: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

It is not clear in this question what is meant by 'finance review' and 'ministerial approval'.

The current MSAC process does not involve 'finance review' or 'ministerial approval' for the release of evaluation reports. The applicant is advised verbally of the outcomes of its submission within a fortnight, then provided with a written summary of each outcome approximately 10 weeks after the meeting. MSAC outcomes (in summary form) and full Public Summary Documents are published on the MSAC website as soon as they are available.

There was no data collected prior to 2007. The average time across 2007 to 2013 was 180 days. In 2007 the average number of days was 282. In 2012 the average number of days was 64 - a 77% improvement.