Rural Classification Technical Working Group – Terms of Reference

The Department of Health (Health) Rural Classification Technical Working Group (RC TWG) is established.

Page last updated: 24 May 2013

1. Purpose

The RCTWG will assist in the development of technical specifications and an implementation strategy that will allow Health to address the limitations of the current ASGC-RA classification to deliver an effective mechanism to distribute financial resources to rural communities. By 31 December 2013, the RCTWG will develop an implementation strategy for recommendations to change the application of ASGC-RA and Districts of Workforce Shortage to health workforce programs, as set out in the Australian Government Health Workforce Programs (Mason Review).

2. Context

The Mason Review recommended that “the ASGC-RA system should be substantially adapted to the needs of health workforce programs to more appropriately recognise differing access to health services within broad geographical regions and within communities. A modification to the “Monash Model” is recommended as the approach most likely to provide positive enhancements to the current systems … An implementation working group should be established” Rec 4.20

The Minister has announced her support of this recommendation and others in the Mason review relating to ASGC-RA and DWS.

3. Objectives

The RCTWG is tasked with:

  • developing agreed principles and definitions for the new models
  • developing solutions to overcome any identified anomalies
  • developing a detailed implementation plan including technical specifications
  • developing an evaluation strategy

4. Accountability

Recommendations made by the Health RCTWG will be presented to the Minister for Health.

5. Membership

The RCTWG may include the following:

  • First Assistant Secretary, Health Workforce Division (Chair)
  • Health Workforce Division (Secretariat)
  • Nominated key rural health representatives; including
    • Australian Medical Association
    • Rural Doctors Association of Australia
    • Rural Health Workforce Australia
    • National Rural Health Alliance
    • Australian Medicare Local Alliance
  • Technical experts, including
    • Australian Bureau of Statistics
    • Department of Human Services
    • Monash University – School of Rural Health
    • Independent geospatial analysis experts consultants

6. Operating Procedures

  • Secretariat
    The Secretariat support of the RCTWG will be provided by the Department.
  • Frequency of Meetings
    Meetings will be conducted on an ad hoc basis as deemed appropriate by the Chair.
  • Agenda and Minutes
    Items for the Agenda will be sent to the Chair. The Secretariat will circulate the Agenda papers at least five working days prior to each meeting. An invitation to attend meetings, to give presentations or advice on relevant matters will be extended as required.