MSAC Consultation Process

Page last updated: 31 May 2024

The Department of Health and Aged Care (the department) is transitioning to a new MSAC consultation survey, available through the Office of Health Technology Assessment (OHTA) Consultation Hub. The department will use the new survey for applications being considered by the MSAC’s PICO Advisory Subcommittee (PASC) at its August 2024 meeting. Eventually, the department will use the survey for all MSAC applications.

During this transition period:

  • some applications will continue to use the old survey form. You can download this form from the application webpage.
  • Where an application has transitioned to the new survey:
We hope the new survey form makes it easier for people to provide input to MSAC. We would welcome your views on the new survey and how we can improve it further.

Consultation usually starts once the department finds an application suitable to progress through the MSAC process and it is published on the PASC, ESC or MSAC agenda. There are two main points in the MSAC process where consultation input is important:

1. Before the meeting of the PICO Advisory Subcommittee (PASC).
2. Before MSAC considers the application.

To remain informed of when pre-PASC and pre-MSAC consultations open and close, ensure you are subscribed to the Bulletin on the MSAC website homepage. Generally, pre-PASC consultation will open when the PASC agenda is published on the MSAC website and pre-MSAC consultation will open when the ESC or MSAC agenda is published on the MSAC website. When consultation opens for a particular application depends on what pathway the application follows through the MSAC process. For more information see Is the MSAC consultation process the same for every application?

The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) appraises applications for public funding of health services and technologies. As part of the appraisal process, MSAC invites input on each application through both targeted and public consultation.

Targeted consultation

Targeted consultation occurs once the department decides an application is suitable to progress through the MSAC process and is published on the PASC, ESC or MSAC agenda. It involves health professional and consumer organisations identified by the applicant and/or the department as having a potential interest in the application. Once the department finds an application suitable and the application is published on the relevant PASC, ESC or MSAC agenda, the department will send an email to the identified parties, inviting them to give input. The department includes links to the completed MSAC application form and consultation survey in the email.

The department may seek advice from members of MSAC and its sub-committees with expertise in consumer matters, about which consumer organisations to invite to give input. Sometimes, an individual who has specialist knowledge or expertise that can inform MSAC’s deliberations will also be invited to provide targeted consultation.

Public consultation

If an application is suitable for the MSAC process, the department publishes the application form on the MSAC website. A link to, or copy of, the consultation survey is included on the application webpage. Individuals or organisations with an interest in the application can give input. MSAC particularly welcomes input from:

  • people with lived experience of the medical condition(s), health services, or technologies relevant to the application
  • health professionals with relevant expertise and experience.
Consultation input helps MSAC and its subcommittees to better understand how a proposed health service or technology fits in the Australian health care environment. It does this by providing MSAC with an insight into the potential effect of the proposed health service or technology on:

  • the lives of people with the health condition, their carers, family, and friends
  • clinical practice and
  • the Australian health care system.

Ways to give input

Individuals and organisations can provide consultation input to MSAC by:

  • completing an MSAC survey (preferred method)
  • sending an email to the department
  • writing to the department
  • sending a video or audio recording to the department.
For more information see How can I given consultation input to MSAC?

Deadlines for consultation input

There are deadlines for consultation input on an application. MSAC and its subcommittees may not consider consultation input received after these deadlines. For more information see When does consultation occur?

How we use consultation input

The department normally shares consultation input with:

  • MSAC and its subcommittees (the PICO Advisory Subcommittee and the Evaluation Subcommittee)
  • the MSAC applicant.
From time-to-time the department may also share consultation input with:

  • Health Technology Assessment Groups, to inform their reports to MSAC
  • representatives of state and territory governments, where the application is for a service to be delivered through public hospitals.
For more information, see What happens to consultation feedback?

You should not include information in your feedback that you do not want shared with these parties.
Figure 1 presents the MSAC consultation process.

The consultation process described on this page and at Figure 1 applies to applications on the standard MSAC pathway. PASC, ESC and MSAC each consider applications on the standard pathway.

In some instances, an application may:

  • bypass PASC and go straight to ESC. Consultation on these applications does not start until the department knows at which meeting ESC will consider the application. The ESC Bulletin will advise when consultation on these applications opens and closes.
  • bypass both PASC and ESC, progressing straight to MSAC. Consultation on these applications does not start until the department knows at which meeting MSAC will consider the application. You may still give us your input on applications going straight to MSAC, but the time for input is shorter. The MSAC Bulletin will advise when consultation on these applications opens and closes.
You can subscribe to the MSAC Bulletin on the MSAC website homepage. Once subscribed, you will be notified of applications going to PASC, ESC and MSAC.

Figure 1 - MSAC Consultation Process
More information on the MSAC consultation process is available in the MSAC Consultation process FAQs.