Specialist and consulting physician recognition

You can apply for recognition as a specialist or consultant physician if you are a fellow of an Australasian specialist college.

Why apply for specialist recognition

Once you’re recognised as a specialist or consultant physician you can access specialist or consultant physician items in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) for services you’ve provided to private patients.

Who can apply for specialist recognition

You can apply for recognition as a medical specialist if you have either:

  • an Australasian specialist college fellowship
  • registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) as a specialist.

If you’re basing your recognition on your AHPRA specialist registration it will expire when your AHPRA registration does.

You must be either:

For Medicare purposes, specialists include:

  • anaesthetists
  • dermatologists
  • emergency medical practitioners
  • obstetricians and gynaecologists
  • ophthalmologists
  • oral and maxillofacial surgeons
  • pathologists
  • physicians
  • psychiatrists
  • radiologists
  • rehabilitation medical practitioners
  • sports and exercise physicians
  • surgeons.

How you apply for specialist recognition

To apply for recognition, complete the Application for recognition as a Specialist or Consultant Physician form. There’s a $30 application fee and you can only pay this by cheque or money order.

Overseas trained doctors and foreign graduates

You also need to apply for recognition if you’re practising as a specialist or consulting physician and you’re either:

As well as applying for recognition, you’ll need to have a section 19AB exemption.

When you can start claiming specialist items

You’ll get a letter when your recognition is complete. You can claim benefits for specialist items from the eligibility date in the letter.

We won’t issue you with a specialist provider number. Instead we’ll update your provider record to reflect your new specialist status, which will apply to all your practice locations. Your provider number shows where you practise and not your specialisation.

Your eligibility to claim Medicare benefits and be recognised by us is subject to legislative and registration restrictions.

Page last updated: 17 November 2020