The Australian Department of Health has provided the following advice for healthcare providers.
As you are aware when the 1 July 2021 enhancements to the Closing the Gap (CTG) Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Co-payment Program came into effect it became evident there were a significant number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients who had been receiving reduced co-payments for their PBS General Schedule medicines under this Program but they had not been correctly registered for the Program. Therefore the Australian Department Of Health introduced a registration grace period to provide time for these patients to be formally registered through Services Australia by PBS Prescribers and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health practitioners.
Currently the Grace Period is scheduled to cease on 31 January 2022. Having said that, the Department acknowledges the continuing COVID situation has put pressure on all health professionals involved in primary care, noting that this has caused the inability for some stakeholders to ensure their eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients are correctly registered for the CTG PBS Co-payment Program. In light of this the Department has decided to further extend the Registration Grace Period to 30 June 2022 for those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.
Please ensure those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients who have previously received their PBS General Schedule medicines under the CTG PBS Co-payment Program are correctly registered.
Disclaimer: This article was provided by Australian Department of Health. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network does not warrant or represent the accuracy, currency and completeness of any information or material included within.