New Rural GP Orientation Course: Understanding the PBS and MBS

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This education is accredited: RACGP 2 CPD, ACRRM 1 CME PD.

Course Overview

This module was originally produced from the RDN New Rural GP Orientation workshop in August 2014 and has been updated in May 2016. Dr Ros Bullock explains the complexities of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), and how they interact and apply in rural general practice. It contains plenty of practical information and learning points to assist you in your role as a rural GP.

At the end of this module you will have a greater understanding of:

  • What the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is.
  • What the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) is.
  • How the PBS and MBS interact and apply in rural general practice.
  • What you can and can’t bill, and why.

The course content includes:

  • Examples of unrestricted and restricted medicines, and authority prescriptions.
  • Manufacturing rules and PBS criteria for a range of medications you might prescribe, such as Nexium, Ciproxin, Amoxicillin, Prednisolone and Estradot.
  • Examples of common pitfalls when prescribing.
  • Script-writing.
  • PBS for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Patients under the Close The Gap scheme.
  • Billing examples such as eye treatment, palliative care, wrist injury, contraception, pap smears, critical care consultation, out of hours/urgent consults, attendances at aged care facilities, skin lesions, dressings, diabetic care, asthma care, GPMPs/TCAs, health assessments and mental health care plans.

On completion, you will have the option to earn CPD points for this topic by undertaking an assessment activity.

Course last updated May 2016.

Facilitator: Dr Ros Bullock



RDN particularly acknowledges and thanks NSW Ministry of Health, whose funding facilitated development of this course, and Dr Ros Bullock for facilitating the session.

Enquiries and Support

General enquiries can be directed to RDN’s Medical Recruitment Team by phone +612 4924 8000 or email

Technical support

Content partners: 
Understanding the PBS and MBS - education
Understanding the PBS and MBS - evaluation