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The Closing the Gap (CTG) PBS Co-payment Program Registration Grace Period that is currently in place. As you are aware when the 1 July 2021 enhancements to the CTG PBS Co-payment Program came into effect it became evident there were a significant number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients who had been receiving reduced co-payments for their PBS General Schedule medicines under this Program but they had not been correctly registered for the Program. Therefore the Department Of Health introduced a registration grace period to provide time for these patients to be formally registered through Services Australia by PBS Prescribers and Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) registered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners.

Currently the Grace Period is scheduled to cease on 31 January 2022. Having said that, the Department of Health acknowledges the continuing COVID situation has put pressure on all Health Professionals involved in primary care, noting that this has caused the inability for some stakeholders to ensure their eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients are correctly registered for the CTG PBS Co-payment Program. In light of this the Department of Health has decided to further extend the Registration Grace Period to 30 June 2022 for those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

Could you please advise your members and colleagues of this Grace Period extension. You are strongly urged to continue encouraging them to do all they can to ensure those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients who have previously received their PBS General Schedule medicines under the CTG PBS Co-payment Program are correctly registered.

The Department of Health appreciates the important work that our stakeholders do and trust that you will all assist the Department of Health with distribution of this advice.

If you have any questions in relation to this request please email your query to pbs-indigenous@health.gov.au, Attention – Natalie Relph.

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