Mark Butler announces new funding arrangement for surgical consumables

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Health minister Mark Butler has announced changes to remove 500 surgical general use and consumables from the Prostheses List (PL).

The changes are part of wider planned reforms of the PL which is the federal government's framework for the private funding of medical devices.

Under the change announced by Mr Butler, the default benefits for the General Use Bundles will be mandated through changes to the Private Health Insurance Act (Benefit Requirements) Rules 2011.

This will define the benefits insurers will pay hospitals when items such as sutures, haemostatic agents and skin glues are used in surgery for private patients.

The individually listed items will be removed from the existing Prostheses List.

These changes come into effect on 1 July 2023 and will ensure continued access to these items for private patients.

“These general use and consumable items are the kind that could be used in any surgery performed in Australia, and the inclusion of separate entries for each on the Prostheses List appears to have been contributing to inflated costs for private patients," said Mr Butler.

“Insurers will be mandated to fund General Use Bundles, which means private patients will not face additional out of pocket costs for these consumables when they have surgery.

“The Government’s priority is that Australians access affordable medical devices and that the taxpayer gets value for money, both in the public system and through our support for private health insurance.”