CLARIFICATION AROUND THE CHANGES TO THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH’S 19AA GUIDELINES….
Recently, The Department of Health have made a few changes to the process and requirements for Special Approved Placement Program (SAPP) applications. These changes have commenced as of 01/02/2018 and a copy of The Departments new guidelines are now available.
To give you an idea of the points you should be aware of when thinking about applying for a SAPP, our team have put together the following information.
Please note, this is just a quick overview of The Department of Health’s changes, if you have specific questions or you need help, give us a call!
In a nutshell, 19AA of the Health Insurance Act 1973 was introduced in 1996 to recognise and support general practice as a vocational specialty, as well as to provide a framework for achieving long term improvements in the quality of doctors working in Australia.
All medical practitioners are subject to restrictions of section 19AA of the Act if they:
· held medical registration by an Australian Medical Board on or after 1 November 1996 and
· are Australian permanent residents or Australian citizens and
· do not hold continued recognition by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, or by a recognised specialist college.
Basically, 19AA requires any Non-Vocationally Registered (Non-VR) Australia permanent resident or citizen to be registered on an approved 3GA program to be able to gain access to Medicare benefits.
This restricts both people born in Australia and those who have become Australian.
Remember, this is only if you want to claim Medicare benefits. From http://www.doctorconnect.gov.au/internet/otd/publishing.nsf/Content/medicareProviderNumberLegislation
A QUICK OVERVIEW OF THE CHANGES:
· The Department of Health has provided a definition of ‘exceptional circumstances’
· They have now defined ‘Categories’ of eligibility to apply
· How to Lodge your SAPP application, with template checklist and covering letter
· They have defined a maximum length of time you can be on SAPP
DEFINITION OF EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES
The Department of Health defines circumstances as being exceptional when they are both beyond the doctor’s personal control and directly prevent them from joining or remaining on the other general practice 3GA programs.
CATEGORIES OF APPROVED SAPP PARTICIPANTS
Participants of SAPP will now be categorised in one of the following:
A. Participants who demonstrate ‘exceptional circumstances’ as defined above
B. Participants who were removed from another full-time program before completing requirements for Fellowship
C. Participants who were removed from the Rural Locum Relief Program two-year program
D. Participants seeking vocational experience
E. Participants limited by their medical registration
F. Participants responding to a pandemic, other national emergency, or local disaster.
Each of these categories have their own eligibility and assessment criteria. It’s important to understand what the requirements are for your situation.
LODGING YOUR SAPP APPLICATION
As part of the recent changes, you’ll now be required to complete a Cover Letter Checklist, in addition to your application submission and supporting documents.
You must also provide a best day-time contact number and your existing provider number.
MAXIMUM LENGTH OF TIME YOU CAN BE ON SAPP
Each application is categorised according to the above (A – F). Depending on the category your application falls into will determine the maximum length of time you can be approved for. Please keep in mind, SAPP is used as a stepping stone towards achieving Fellowship and there are no guarantees, all applications will be assessed individually.
HOW LONG WILL MY APPLICATION TAKE TO BE PROCESSED?
Processing timeframes have not changed. It will take up to 28 days to be assessed from the time of receiving a complete application. Note, this time frame could increase if you are requested to provide additional information or clarification.
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU:
If you are looking for further guidance on SAPP applications or would like to ask further questions about the changes mentioned, this is something our team can help you with. Contact us directly on [email protected].
Information for this blog has been taken directly from: · https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L01534/Explanatory%20Statement/Text · http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/special-approved-placements-program
People Medical Consulting are a team of professionals with a passion for guiding those specialising in the Medical industry to find their career pathway and settle into Australia. Working with both Australian trained and Overseas trained professionals, we have extensive experience in Recruitment of General Practitioners, Migration for all with a special emphasis on Medical and Document Assistance for those requiring support with RACGP, AHPRA, 19AA and 19AB Medicare Exemptions.