Medical contracting arrangements

Here you can find information on medical contracting arrangements including new arrangements, forms and updates.

The Importance of Our Medical Contractors

  • Medical contractors are key providers of medical services in the WA Country Health Service (WACHS). WACHS currently engages more than 600 medical practitioners through the Medical Services Agreement (MSA) arrangements.
  • The MSA arrangements cover local GPs, resident and visiting specialists and temporary replacement medical practitioners (collectively referred to as Visiting Medical Practitioners - VMPs).
  • Medical contractors are not employees and the MSA is individually negotiated between the medical practitioner concerned and the WACHS region.


Medical Services Agreement (MSA)

MSA Arrangements Structure

MSA arrangements consist of two elements:

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Australian Medical Association on governance issues.  The current MOU was agreed in July 2015.  
  • An individually negotiated MSA between the WACHS Region and the Contracting Medical Practitioner (CMP).  The MSA is structured as follows:
    • Cover page and Recitals pages
    • Standard Contractual Obligations and Conditions pages
    • Signatories page
    • Schedules 1 to 6 (whichever applicable) which contain the details, service requirements and obligations specific to your contract.  
    • A Nominated Medical Practitioner (NMP) form by which the CMP nominates the individual medical practitioners who will perform the medical services detailed in the MSA. 

WACHS MSAs are negotiated at a regional level.  All inquiries should be directed to your Regional Medical Director.

Associated Requirements:

  • Medical Indemnity -
    Non-salaried Medical Practitioner Indemnity is provided as part of the MSA arrangements.  More information can be obtained from the Department of Health Website under Medical Indemnity.
  • Credentialing and Scope of Practice -
    All Medical Practitioners who are contracted under a MSA are required to have been granted clinical privileges to provide approved medical services at the hospital nominated in the MSA, before commencing work.  The WA Country Health Service (WACHS) has a formal process of credentialing and defining the scope of clinical practice prior to appointment.  Details of requirements, processes and procedures can be obtained from your local Regional Medical Director’s Office. 

Payment Arrangements

Depending on the type of service being contracted, payments for services provided may be made through Fee For Service (FFS) or through daily rates. Information on FFS may be found at the Department of Health Website WA Government Medical Services Schedule.

As daily rates are negotiated individually inquiries should be directed to the Medical Director in your WACHS region.

Arrangements may also include specific payments for in or out of hours availability, a rural practice incentive and payments for agreed tasks.