medical specialist

A doctor who has completed advanced education and clinical training in a specific area of medicine.


A national, government-funded scheme that subsidises the cost of personal medical services for all Australians and aims to help them afford medical care. The Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) is the listing of the Medicare services subsidised by the Australian Government. The schedule is part of the wider Medicare Benefits Scheme (Medicare).

Medicare-subsidised services

Refer to services listed in the MBS that resulted in a payment of Medicare benefit.

out-of-pocket costs

The total costs incurred by individuals for health care services over and above any refunds from Medicare.

remoteness classification

Each state and territory is divided into several regions based on their relative accessibility to goods and services (such as to general practitioners, hospitals and medical specialist care) as measured by road distance. These regions are based on the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia and defined as Remoteness Areas by the Australian Statistical Geographical Standard (ASGS) in each Census year. The 5 Remoteness Areas are:

  • Major cities - for example; Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Newcastle
  • Inner regional - for example; Hobart, Launceston, Wagga Wagga, Bendigo and Murray Bridge
  • Outer regional - for example; Darwin, Moree, Mildura, Cairns, Charters Towers, Whyalla and Albany
  • Remote - for example; Port Lincoln, Esperance, Queenstown and Alice Springs
  • Very remote - for example; Mount Isa, Cobar, Coober Pedy, Port Hedland, Tennant Creek and Norfolk Island.

Please refer to the ASGS Remoteness Structure 2016 for more information.