Supply of pharmaceutical benefits to remote area Aboriginal Health Services (AHSs)
Since 1999 special arrangements have operated under the provision of section 100 of the National Health Act 1953 for the supply of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines to eligible Remote Area AHSs (RAAHS).
Under the RAAHS Program, clients of approved RAAHSs are able to receive medicines directly from the AHS at the point of consultation, without the need for a normal PBS prescription form, and without charge.
Participating AHSs order required PBS items from pharmacies, which transmit claims to the Department of Human Services for reimbursement. There is no need for AHSs to make payments to pharmacies for medicines obtained under these arrangements.
The eligibility criteria for participation in the program are given below.
- The Health Service must have a primary function of meeting the health care needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
- The clinic, or other health care facility, operated by the AHS from which pharmaceuticals are supplied to patients must be in a remote zone as defined in the Rural, Remote and Metropolitan Areas Classification 1991 Census Edition.
- The AHS must employ or be in a contractual relationship with health professionals who are suitably qualified under relevant State/Territory legislation to supply all medications covered by the Section 100 arrangements and undertake that all supply of benefit items will be under the direction of such qualified persons.
- The clinic or other health care facility operated by the AHS from which pharmaceuticals are supplied must have storage facilities that will:
- prevent access by unauthorised persons;
- maintain the quality (eg chemical and biological stability and sterility) of the pharmaceutical; and
- comply with any special conditions specified by the manufacturer of the pharmaceutical.
*The eligible Rural, Remote and Metropolitan Areas (RRMA) are RRMA 6 and RRMA 7. The RRMA classification for a location by State and/or postcode can be found at RRMA search.
Further information, please email the Department