Health Care Services for ADF Personnel - member feedback

6 Feb 2013

Last year the AMA released a report on a survey of medical specialists, which revealed significant dissatisfaction amongst members with respect to the decision by the Government to award Medibank Health Solutions (MHS) the tender to provide health care services to Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel.

MHS has made significant changes to the provision of medical services to ADF personnel – both on base and off base. This has included fee cuts and the establishment of the new MHS network of 'preferred specialist providers'. 

The AMA has held several meetings with MHS, but to date MHS has failed to properly address the serious issues members have raised. It is also apparent from the information provided by members that many ADF personnel are still being referred to non-contracted specialists who are not bound by the new fee structure or contracts that MHS has implemented. 

We are also aware that in some circumstances on base medical officers have no alternative but to write generic referrals for specialist care, with MHS then attempting to find a specialist who will see the patient. Not surprisingly, many of these doctors feel compromised by this situation.

The AMA would like to gather more evidence of problems with the MHS arrangements via anonymous comments on this post. The aim is to generate discussion and obtain de-identified information that we can use in our advocacy. The media is also likely to take a keen interest in what is posted.

If you have a view on the arrangements that the MHS has implemented or are aware of specific issues that have arisen, please take the time to post your comments on our dedicated webpage by clicking here. If you do not feel comfortable about commenting online, then simply email your concerns to


Dr Steve Hambleton