2.4 External governance arrangements

The key governing bodies in the Australian blood sector, their roles and relationships with each other are set out in the National Blood Agreement and the National Blood Authority Act 2003 . They are depicted in Figure 2.2.

Figure 2.2 Governance structure of the Australian blood sector

Figure 2.2 Governance structure of the Australian blood sector

Australian Health Ministers’ Conference (AHMC)

The AHMC is responsible for overseeing and managing the blood sector. It sets the governance, policy and financial frameworks under which the NBA operates. In 2007–08, key decisions made by the Ministers relevant to the blood sector included:

Minister for Health and Ageing

The Australian Government Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP, is responsible under the National Blood Authority Act 2003 for the appointment of the National Blood Authority Board and General Manager, for determining additional functions of the NBA and for issuing policy principles the NBA must comply with in the performance of its functions. The Minister carries out these statutory roles with endorsement from all health ministers in the AHMC. The NBA falls within the health and ageing portfolio.

Senator Jan McLucas, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, has portfolio responsibility for blood issues including oversight of the NBA.

Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC)

The Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) provides support to the AHMC. It advises the AHMC on strategic issues relating to the coordination of health services across the nation and, as necessary, with New Zealand. The Council considers blood sector matters referred to it by the Jurisdictional Blood Committee (JBC) and the Clinical, Technical and Ethical Principal Committee (CTEPC) and reports, as necessary, to the AHMC. The AHMAC has no statutory power and decisions are reached by consensus.

Clinical, Technical and Ethical Principal Committee

The CTEPC was established in 2006 to consider and provide advice to the AHMAC on clinical, technical and medico-ethical developments that are likely to affect the sector and to determine the policy implications of these developments on the delivery and management of healthcare and other services.

Jurisdictional Blood Committee

All Australian governments are represented on the JBC, which was established by the National Blood Agreement in 2003. The JBC is the conduit between governments and the NBA on blood policy; demand; supply planning and product distribution; funding and evidence-based approaches to emerging products; services; and technologies. It also oversees the NBA’s role in blood supply contracting. JBC is the primary body responsible for providing advice and support on these matters to the AHMC through the CTEPC — of which it has been a subcommittee since September 2006 — and the AHMAC. The NBA provides secretariat services to JBC.

National Blood Authority Board

The NBA Board provides advice to the NBA General Manager regarding the performance of the NBA. It also liaises with governments, suppliers and other stakeholders on matters relating to the NBA’s functions. The NBA Board is an advisory body; it has no capacity to engage personnel or to enter into dealings with other parties, nor does it hold a governance role.

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