AUD 3.5 billion over five years to allow 11 million people to obtain free visits to doctors (GPs). By paying doctors three times as much (from AUD 6 per patient to AUD 20 per patient) to bulk-bill families with young children, pensioners and concession card holders, this will provides an incentive to stop GPs charging fees to these patients. These increased incentives would apply to many face-to-face general practice consultations and telehealth general practice services.
AUD 445 million over five years to increase funding for the Workforce Incentive Program-Practice Stream. This funding will support medical practices to employ more nurses and allied health professionals.
AUD 359 million for eight more Medicare urgent care clinics, (usually located near hospitals). This will take the total to 58 around Australia. The Government said these clinics would free up overstretched GPs and reduce pressure on hospitals and improve access to affordable care.
AUD 144 million over two years to improve access to primary care after hours programs.
AUD 224 million over four years to improve access to health services and support doctors working in rural areas.
AUD 66 million over four years to remove the restriction on the number of magnetic resonance imaging devices eligible for Medicare in rural areas.
AUD 556 million over five years to strengthen Australia's mental health and suicide prevention system.
Digital health and telehealth
AUD 429 million over two years to modernise My Health Record including creating an improved data sharing platform.
AUD 326 million over four years to establish the Australian Digital Health Agency as an ongoing entity.
AUD 112 million over four years to provide electronic-prescription delivery infrastructure and services.
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
AUD 2.2 billion over five years for listings on the PBS and other such schemes. The cost of some medicines listed will be reduced by revenue from rebates negotiated as part of purchase agreements.
AUD 377 million over four years to make patient access more affordable under the PBS Opioid Dependence Treatment program.
AUD 655 million over four years for community pharmacy programs under the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement.
Pharmacies will be impacted by one of the largest savings measures. The Government will allow patients to buy two months' supply for 320 common medications at one time, saving AUD 1.2 billion over five years. AUD 80 million has been allocated to assist regional pharmacies remain viable.
AUD 449 million over five years for new listings on the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
AUD 447 million over five years for Shingrix to replace Zostavax on the NIP for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster virus).
Gardasil 9, for the prevention of Human Papillomavirus, to become available to eligible patients up to the age of 25.
AUD 114 million over five years to subsidise pharmacies to administer eligible National Immunisation Program vaccines.
Vaping and smoking
AUD 511 million over four years for a new national lung cancer screening program, nicotine vaping product regulation, and nicotine cessation support.
AUD 6.8 billion over four years for medical research, provided through three funding sources: the National Health and Medical Research Council; the MRFF; and the Biomedical Translation Fund.
Additional funding of AUD 1.3 billion for the Medical Research Future Fund 10-year investment plan.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
AUD 363 million over four years for various measures for the health and aged care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly in cancer treatment and in remote areas.
AUD 219 million to progress adult public dental funding reform.
AUD 515 million over five years to fund the outcome of the Fair Work Commission's decision on the Aged Care Work Value Case. The decision was to increase award wages by 15 per cent from 30 June 2023 for most workers in aged care, including nurses, assistants, and home care workers. This measure will be partially offset by redirecting funding from other Budget measures.
AUD 339 million over four years to improve the in-home aged care system.
AUD 309 million over five years to implement the recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. This will focus on the accountability of approved aged care providers and other initiatives to strengthen the regulation of the aged care sector.
AUD 591 million over two years to continue the Government's response to COVID-19 in aged care.
AUD 487 million over four years to extend the Disability Support for Older Australians Program.
AUD 112 million over four years to introduce a new incentive payment to improve general practitioner attendance in residential aged care homes.
Temporary reduction in the residential aged care provision ratio from 78 places to 60 places per 1,000 people aged over 70 years. This measure will save AUD 2.2 billion over three years. It reflects the preference of older Australians to remain in their homes.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
AUD 733 million on eight measures designed to improve decision-making at the NDIA, the agency that administers the NDIS.
Projected spending on the NDIS has blown out by AUD 13.1 billion over the past year. The NDIS is forecast to grow 10.4 per cent over the next decade. The Government announced a target to reduce annual growth rate of the NDIS to 8% by 1 July 2026.
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Sources: Commonwealth of Australia; LexisNexis Capital Monitor; National Australia Bank; Australian Financial Review.