Election message from Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health

Australian Medical Association/AusMed

The Liberal National Government has a long-term health plan to build a health system that is flexible, affordable, effective and accessible to all Australians.

The Government is investing a record $104 billion in 2019-20, up from $75 billion in 2012-13, as part of a comprehensive, patient-focused investment of $435 billion over the next four years.

It guarantees Medicare, makes a range of life-saving medicines and services more accessible and affordable, reduces out-of-pocket costs, strengthens primary care and mental health and invests in breakthrough medical research.

The Budget consolidates and continues our health reform agenda. It reinforces the four pillars of our long term national health plan – guaranteeing Medicare and improving access to medicines, supporting our hospitals, prioritising mental health and preventive health and investing in health and medical research.

Primary care is fundamental to our world class health system and the Government is committed to working with our GPs, specialists and consumers to continuously improve the delivery of care.

The 2017 landmark Compact paved the way for an incredibly productive partnership which has helped to shape our investment into the sector to strengthen and modernise the system.

The Government has recognised this in the recent 2019-20 Budget, and we will deliver a $1.1 billion ‘Strengthening Primary Care’ package, further building on the $512 million announced at the 2018-19 MYEFO, to support Australia’s doctors and specialists to deliver improved access and outcomes for patients. This was designed was co-designed with the AMA, and includes:

  • $448.5 million to deliver a new population-based funding approach to support GPs to deliver enhanced care and services, initially focusing on Australians over 70 years
  • $201.5 million in additional funding for the Practice Incentives Program Quality Improvement Initiative which will help embed general practice quality improvement activities, while supporting better patient outcomes and broader primary care reforms – as part of this, the Aged Care Access Incentive will be retained, ensuring continued support for GPs to provide services in Residential Aged Care Facilities
  • $187.2 million to increase the patient rebate for all remaining GP items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) from 1 July 2019
  • $62.2 million for a National Rural Generalist Pathway, to ensure rural generalists are trained, recognised and resourced to meet the health needs of rural Australians.

This builds on the 2018-19 Budget, which delivered the most comprehensive rural health package in decades, providing $550 million under the Stronger Rural Health Strategy to improve access to doctors, nurses and other health care services for all Australians, especially those in the regions.

A significant focus has been placed on Indigenous health and funding for child dental health.

These initiatives contribute to the Government’s investment of an additional $6 billion in Medicare from $25 billion in 2018-19, $26 billion in 2019-20, $27 billion in 2020-21 and $29 billion in 2021-22 to support healthcare for every Australian.

It also complements the investment of $40 billion for life-saving and life-changing medicines included in the forward estimates, and investments in mental health including youth suicide prevention.

The Government recognises there is more to be achieved, and these announcements support our long term reform plan to improve the care, lives and health outcomes for all Australians.

These investments demonstrate our ongoing commitment to building a world class healthcare system.

Authorised by Greg Hunt MP, Liberal Party of Australia, Somerville, Victoria.

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