Below are links and resources to assist with establishing a medical abortion model in your clinic. These resources are intended to use as a guide only. Please adapt them to suit your circumstances, keeping in mind that there are various ways to establish a clinic, including models driven by both practice nurses and/or GPs.
Becoming a Prescriber
The first step to establishing a medical abortion service is to become a certified prescriber. You should also ensure your training is up to date in this area and, importantly, you should let people know your clinic offers this service.
Prescriber Certification MS-2 Step
To become a certified prescriber or dispenser of medical abortion medication, you must be an Australian AHPRA registered healthcare professional and complete the MS-2 Step online training. Registration is free and can be accessed via the provided link. Please note that prescriber certification is currently not available for nurses.
Free Online Learning Module
CERSH has developed a free online learning module: Service Delivery of Medical Abortion in Rural Context. This module covers establishing and managing a rural MToP service system and effective clinical pathways.
More information on this module and the full suite of modules developed by CERSH can be found via the below link.
Register Your Service - 1800 My Options
Certified prescribers can register their abortion service on the 1800 My Options online portal to make this information publicly available. Service providers are strongly encouraged to do this, as the database is a key resource for both patients and health practitioners to find services across Victoria that best suit their needs.
It's important to remember that an effective workflow model incorporates comprehensive sexual and reproductive health checks and services, including testing and treatment for STIs.
Establishing a Medical Abortion Service
The provided link will take you to information about the establishment of a medical abortion service. Specifically, the section "Workflow Models" (at the bottom of the page) contains useful points to consider in relation to a practice nurse-supported model versus a GP-driven model. These are just two of many models incorporating medical abortion into the flow of general practice. (Source: Children by Choice)
Medical Abortion Process
A detailed description of the medical abortion process and workflow model for GPs and nurses, including staff requirements, conducting a clinical consultation, timing, medication information, referral information, follow up steps etc. (Source: Gateway Health)
Medical Abortion Information for Administration Team
A helpful information sheet for the medical abortion process designed specifically for the administration staff. It includes detailed information about time frames of appointments and medical tests. (Source: Gateway Health)
Integrating STI Testing and Treatment into Workflow
The Melbourne Sexual Health Centre (MSHC) website includes clinical treatment guidelines, an STI tool, and latest information about STI testing and treatment.
Australian STI Management Guidelines
These guidelines are for use in primary care. (Source: ASHA)
Protocol and Referral Templates
Thank you to the Women's Hospital and Gateway Health teams for providing these templates to use for reference.
- Gateway Health MTOP Pathway Model
Financial, Legal And Staffing Considerations
There is no single way as to how service providers in Victoria structure their costs of termination of pregnancy services. It is up to each provider to determine a model and structure that suits best their patients and the provider. Consider making your fee structure available to prospective patients so that they can consider all costs as part of their decision.
In most cases, GPs use longer appointments and MBS item no. 4001. Rebates are available for three non-directive pregnancy support counselling services per patient per pregnancy, for persons who are currently pregnant or have been pregnant in the preceding 12 months (see link below for more information).
There is a lot of variation in terms of availability of bulk billing and out-of-pocket costs, not only between clinics but also within individual clinicians. Many practitioners also offer free of charge follow-up consultations.
For key considerations for young people and teenagers, see also the section Patients Aged 16 and Under.
Pregnancy Counselling Rebate
A person who is currently pregnant or who has been pregnant in the preceding 12 months, and who is concerned about that pregnancy, may claim Medicare benefits for up to three (3) non-directive pregnancy support counselling services (in total) per pregnancy.
Abortion Law in Victoria
The Better Health Channel provides information about abortion law in Victoria and conscientious objection by practitioners.