• 2.a.13 What is the GST status of health services provided to more than one person at the same time?

    This issue (including all the sub-issues) is a public ruling for the purposes of section 105-60 of Schedule 1 to the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

    The provider of the service would need to consider and assess under section 38-7 or 38-10 whether the treatment is ‘appropriate treatment’ for theparticular individual receiving it.

    For the purposes of section 38-7, the treatment must be provided by, or on behalf of, the *medical practitioner as contemplated in the ATO position for Issue 1 above. For the purposes of section 38-10, the provider of the service must be a *recognised professional within the meaning of the GST Act.

    Attendance at the actual group session, provided by a *medical practitioner or *recognised professional, where it is assessed as being appropriate treatment by a referring or providing practitioner for that person, will be GST-free where the elements of section 38-7 or section 38-10 respectively are satisfied.

    Attendance at a seminar providing general information which is not directly targeted at a specific need of the recipient as assessed by a ‘*medical practitioner’ or ‘*recognised professional’ will not be considered to be necessary for the appropriate treatment of the *recipient of the supply and therefore not GST-free. Similarly, programs which are targeted at general health only, such as health and fitness clubs, will not be GST-free.

    In view of the above:

    2.a.13.i. Are antenatal classes GST-free?

    Attendance at the actual group session, provided by a *medical practitioner or *recognised professional, where the attendance is assessed as being appropriate treatment by a referring or providing practitioner for that person, will be GST-free where the elements of section 38-7 or section 38-10 respectively are satisfied.

    For example, a nurse who is a midwife will be a *recognised professional who will be able to assess whether attendance at such a class is appropriate and will be able to provide such a class GST-free (as a supply of ‘Nursing’ undersection 38-10(1)) to that person.

    2.a.13.ii. Are breast-feeding classes GST-free?

    Attendance at the actual group session, provided by a *medical practitioner or *recognised professional, where the attendance is assessed as being appropriate treatment by a referring or providing practitioner for that person, will be GST-free where the elements of section 38-7 or section 38-10 respectively are satisfied.

    For example, a nurse who is a lactation consultant will be a *recognised professional who will be able to assess whether attendance at such a class is appropriate and will be able to provide such a class GST-free (as a supply of ‘Nursing’ under section 38-10(1)) to that person.

    2.a.13.iii Are the activities of psychologists and other allied health professionals that are primarily directed at illness prevention and health promotion GST-free? Specifically, does the GST-free status of psychological health services cover prevention for all psychological conditions or will it only apply in circumstances where there is a predictable or high likelihood of the development of a psychological condition such as stress?

    The provision of counselling by a Psychologist or Social Worker after a traumatic experience will be GST-free if it is considered to be ‘appropriate treatment’of the patient and all of the other elements of section 38-10 are satisfied. The provision of a psychological service directed at teaching people how to deal with stress or a traumatic experience if it should arise (that is education) will not be appropriate treatment and will not be GST-free.

    For the attendance at a group session to be GST-free a *medical practitioner or *recognised professional would have to have assessed the individual and determined that it is ‘appropriate treatment’ for thatparticular individual. The group session must also be conducted by a *medical practitioner or *recognised professional.

      Last modified: 16 Oct 2013QC 16330