Record investment in future health of Australia’s health system

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

The Coalition Government is investing in a stronger health system as part of our plan for a stronger future through a record $132 billion in 2022-23, increasing to $140 billion in 2025-26, with a total commitment of $537 billion over the next four years.

This record funding will ensure Australians have access to improved healthcare, when and where they need it, helping them to lead healthier lives, with improved health outcomes and to provide ongoing protection against COVID-19.

We are strengthening our commitment to Australia’s Long Term National Health Plan, through important and strategic investments to deliver the world’s best health care system, including:

  • $537 billion over the next four years, up $34 billion compared to the 2021-22 Budget including:
    • $7.3 billion increase in Medicare funding
    • $9.8 billion increase in Hospital funding
    • $10.1 billion increase in Aged Care funding.
  • $45.5 billion over four years to access more affordable medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), and more than $2.4 billion this Budget to add vital new medicines to the PBS
  • $1.7 billion towards the objectives of the Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan including:
    • Ensuring telehealth remains a permanent part of Australia’s health system, which has improved access to quality health care for Australians, with more than 100 million services already delivered since March 2020.
  • $296.5 million to deliver improvements in regional, rural and remote health as part of the 10-Year Stronger Rural Health Strategy, including $66 million to deregulate access to Medicare funded Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) services in MMM 2-7 areas, and
  • $6.8 billion over four years for life-saving and life changing research, informed by the Government’s updated Medical Research Future Fund 10 Year Investment Plan
  • $4.2 billion to continue protecting Australians against COVID-19, through supply and access to safe and effective vaccines, treatments and support for our health workforce in primary care, aged care and hospitals
  • $4.6 billion over four years to continue to drive improvements in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians
  • $522 million to deliver the second year of our five-year implementation plan of the once-in-a-generation reform to Australia’s aged care system, to deliver respect, care and dignity to our senior Australians in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
  • $648.6 million for Stage 2 of the Government’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Reform Plan, to ensure Australians can access appropriate mental health care when they need it, taking total investment in the Plan to nearly $3 billion
  • $333 million to increase outcomes in women’s health, including
    • $81.2 million to provide carrier screening for three genetic conditions (cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and fragile X syndrome), making Mackenzie’s Mission a permanent part of our health system, and
    • $58 million for diagnosis, treatment and awareness of endometriosis
  • $149.8 billion over 5 years to continue our record levels of investment in public hospitals, including funding under the 2020-25 National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA). An increase from $13.3 billion in 2012-13 to $28.1 billion in 2022-23 growing to $32.7 billion in 2025-26.

Guaranteeing Medicare and Access to Medicines

Guaranteeing Medicare

The Government is committed to our record investment in Medicare, ensuring all Australians can access healthcare services, no matter where they live.

We are investing $133 billion over four years in Medicare, including $31.4 billion in 2022-23, an increase of $7.3 billion compared to the 2021-22 Budget, $32.3 billion in 2023-24, $33.9 billion in 2024-25 and $35.5 billion in 2025-26.

Telehealth has been the most significant reform to Medicare since its creation. Providing Australians with improved access to health services through telehealth is one of the most significant achievements of our Government and is the key landmark reform within the Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan. The rapid adaptation to telehealth and the positive response from medical practitioners and patients has been phenomenal. Since March 2020, more than 100 million telehealth services have been delivered to 17 million Australians across the country.

The Government is ensuring that the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) continues to deliver wide ranging support for clinical best practice treatments and therapies, by adding and amending Medicare subsidy items in line with the MBS Review Taskforce recommendations, and recommendations from the Medical Services Advisory Committee. In the 2022-23 Budget, this investment is worth $170.6 million, for a range of new and amended MBS items, including:

  • $81.2 million to make Mackenzie’s Mission for genetic carrier screening a universal and permanent part of our health care system. This includes genetic testing for cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and fragile X syndrome (FXS) for couples who are planning pregnancy or who are already pregnant.
  • $14.8 million for new and amended items for obstetrics and gynaecology, to help improve health outcomes for pregnant women and ensure the birth of healthy full-term babies
  • $32.6 million for positron emission tomography (PET) for initial ages of patients diagnosed with rare and uncommon cancers
    • Supporting patient access to PET services during radiopharmaceutical supply disruptions, ensuring continuity of treatment
  • $14 million to amend the current MRI of the liver item to include all cancer types that have potentially spread to the liver
  • $10.6 million to amend the current MRI of the breast item for patients at high risk of developing breast cancer, raising the age limit from 50 to 60
  • $6.6 million for abdominoplasty for the surgical repair of postpartum rectus diastasis (separation of the large abdominal muscles) following pregnancy
  • $2.7 million for six new items for the treatment of varicose veins to enable co-claiming with some other venography items
  • $400,000 for cryoablation for biopsy-confirmed renal cell carcinoma
  • $200,000 to enable cardiac MRI for myocarditis to continue for a further six months
  • New items for neuromuscular disorders, including cascade testing for couples and family members to support family planning
  • Reviewing and reprogramming of neurostimulators for chronic pain by videoconference
  • Remote programming and monitoring new items for deep brain stimulation and cardiac internal loop recorders
  • New items for TAVI low risk population and CEP embolic net insertion, and
  • New and amended items for melanoma excision.

Additionally, $3.9 million will help improve access to vital information for clinicians and patients regarding medicines, diagnostic tests, and possible harmful medication interactions through a redesign of Quality Use of Diagnostics, Therapeutics and Pathology (QUDTP) Program. This will consolidate responsibility for this program with the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care from 1 January 2023.

Australia’s Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan

Our primary health care system is world class and has been the front line and first point of contact for many Australians, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since committing to the release of Australia’s Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan, the Government has implemented $1.1 billion in primary care measures, with an additional investment of $632.8 million in this Budget. This brings the total investment in the Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan to $1.7 billion, far in excess of the initial investment objective of $448 million. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have committed almost $4 billion through the COVID-19 primary care response.

This record and ongoing investment is ensuring primary health care can deliver the best contemporary health care, to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

The Government is also investing $56 million to ensure Primary Health Networks (PHNs) can continue to plan, coordinate, support and commission population-based after-hours health care services, providing an important alternative to access care without presenting to a hospital emergency department.

We are also continuing to provide solid foundations for the introduction of the myGP system, while also supporting the health system to address pressures brought on by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. $23.8 million is being committed in new programs including:

  • $15.4 million for the Practice and Workforce Incentive Programs (PIP and WIP) to retrospectively include COVID-19 telehealth items in the Standardised Whole Patient Equivalent (SWPE) calculation to ensure general practices are not disadvantaged because they needed to use telehealth services during pandemic lockdowns.
  • $4.9 million to support quality improvement in general practice, such as:
    • $2 million for Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to continue the National General Practice Accreditation Scheme
    • $1.4 million for the PIP and WIP, allowing additional practices to become accredited and access these payments, and
    • $1 million to implement the initial recommendations of the national general practice accreditation review.
  • $3 million for the Australian Digital Health Agency to build links between the myGP system and MyHealth Record.

Healthdirect has experienced increased demand during the pandemic and by 2025-26 the number of calls handled by Healthdirect is expected to increase to approximately 1.5 million calls annually. An additional $12 million will further support Healthdirect’s 24-hour phone service, providing accurate, trusted and quality health information and advice. This will allow for Victoria to join the jurisdictions who already access the service.

Dental and oral health is a key part of primary care and the Government is supporting the continuation of the Federation Funding Agreement (FFA) on Public Dental Services for Adults with $107.8 million, for an additional 12 months, to 30 June 2023.

The Government is continuing its ongoing commitment to palliative care in Australia with an investment of $7.5 million to trial models to strengthen palliative care services and to improve access to end of life care pathways. It is estimated that between 50 and 90% of the 160,000 people who die in Australia each year would benefit from access to palliative care. This funding for the Palliative Care Service Navigation Pilot will also help improve public understanding of palliative care services and increase the type of services which are available.

The Government continues to drive the implementation of a Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan as part of Australia’s Long Term National Health Plan.

10-Year Stronger Rural Health Strategy

The Government is continuing its ongoing commitment to ensure that all Australians can access quality health care services and treatments, no matter where they live, including in regional, rural and remote communities.

We are building on the 10-Year Stronger Rural Health Strategy within the Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan, to focus on improving health outcomes by ensuring there is quality health workforce distributed across the country according to community need.

The 10-Year Stronger Rural Health Strategy was unveiled in 2018-19 and the Government originally invested $550 million in the Strategy. This investment is built on through $296.5 million in the 2022-23 Budget.

We are continuing to improve access to critical and life-saving diagnostic imaging in regional and rural areas, with a $66 million investment through the deregulation of Medicare funded MRI services.

Removing the current MRI equipment eligibility requirements, which is also known as licencing for MMM 2-7 areas from 1 November 2022, will increase access to subsidised, clinically-necessary MRI services at any comprehensive diagnostic imaging facility that meets quality and safety requirements. It will help put downward pressure on out-of-pocket costs to consumers and reduce the need to travel for these diagnostic scans.

Our Government is continuing to deliver on this commitment through an investment of $99.3 million, to build training and education opportunities in rural regions. The Government will increase by 80 the number of medical Commonwealth Supported Places available at rural campuses. This will give more rural Australians the opportunity to study and become a doctor in rural areas.

As part of our commitment to support medical training in regional, rural and remote Australia, we are investing $36.2 million to establish two new University Departments of Rural Health (UDRH) in the South West (Edith Cowan University) and Goldfields (Curtin University) regions of Western Australia. We are also investing $14.8 million to support Charles Sturt University to deliver a Rural Clinical School. We are also continuing support for the National Rural Health Students Network of Rural Health Clubs with $2.1 million over four years.

This will further expand the Rural Health and Medical Training (RHMT) program, which currently has a national network of 19 Rural Clinical Schools, 17 UDRHs and 26 hubs. This expansion will see more than $152.5 million invested in both medical and health education and training by our universities across regional Australia over the next four years.

The Government is also providing $1 million as a matching co-contribution for the Bullwinkel Scholars, establishing 21 scholarships through the Australian College of Nursing, which will support nurses seeking to further their professional development in leadership.

We know that workforce pressures in aged care are felt strongly in regional and rural Australia, but senior Australians in our small towns and rural communities shouldn’t be forced to leave their communities to find appropriate aged care.

The Government has committed $14.3 million to expand the RHMT Program in aged care to an additional five locations in the Northern Territory, Victoria, New South Wales and remote Queensland, enhancing the quality of aged care services in rural and remote areas. This will create additional opportunities for nursing and allied health students and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to pursue a health workforce career and ease workforce pressure in the bush.

The Government will further improve access to GP workforce distribution programs and incentives following consideration of the recommendations of the Review of the DPA Classification System.

This will include a review of the Modified Monash Model, an update to GP catchment boundaries, and an annual recalibration of the DPA calculation to ensure it accurately reflects on-the-ground GP service access circumstances.

We are also investing a significant $56.8 million for aeromedical services, which ensure people in rural and remote Australia can access health services, regardless of where they live. Aeromedical services provide critical health and medical services to millions of Australians, the iconic Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) services approximately 6.5 million square kilometres or 85% of the nation’s landmass, and many of the smaller outlying islands.

The RFDS is an integral and iconic part of Australia’s rural and remote health landscape, and a new 10-year strategic agreement will further support the RFDS with $33.3 million in additional funding for their ongoing work delivering services in rural and remote locations. This will take the Government’s funding contribution to the RFDS to more than $991.7 million over the next 10 years.

The Government is also investing $18 million to guarantee rescue services and emergency aeromedical services through CareFlight. This funding will expand aeromedical support to remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the Top End region of the Northern Territory. A funding arrangement with the Northern Territory Government will be required for the ongoing maintenance and operational costs of the aircraft.

In addition, $4.1 million is being provided for Little Wings to deliver aeromedical transport services for seriously ill children across rural New South Wales, with a further expansion of services planned into the ACT and Queensland.

We are also supporting outreach health and medical services to regional, rural and remote areas of Queensland through a $17.2 million investment in Heart of Australia. This will support five mobile clinics to continue to travel to 32 communities, delivering diagnostic, treatment and follow-up care services, including cardiology, endocrinology, sleep medicine, psychiatry, geriatric medicine, immunology, general medicine, neurology, gastroenterology and gynaecology. In 2022, Heart of Australia will also commence providing CT and x-ray services.

Improving access to medicines

Since 2013, the Coalition Government had approved more than 2,800 new or amended listings on the PBS. This represents an average of nearly one each day – at an overall investment by the Government of around $15 billion to date.

New and amended listings to the PBS are recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and are informed by research and expert analysis to provide health and wellbeing improving and life-saving benefits to Australian patients.

We are investing $2.4 billion for new and amended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) including treatments for breast cancer, cystic fibrosis, severe eczema, asthma, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and heart failure.

This funding draws from the strength of the strategic agreements between the Government with Medicines Australia and the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association, and the commitment of the New Medicines Funding Guarantee in the 2020-21 Budget to meet the cost of future new and amended medicines listings.

New listings from April 2022 –

  • Trikafta®, the combination product of elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor and ivacaftor for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, helping an average 1,900 Australians reduce their out of pocket costs by around $250,000 a year.

New listings from May 2022 –

  • Zolgensma® (onasemnogene abeparvovec) for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy in children less than nine-months old with type 1 SMA or pre-symptomatic patients with 1-2 copies of the SMN2 gene, which will save families of an average of 20 patients each year more than $2.5 million per treatment.
  • Trodelvy® (sacituzumab govitecan) for the treatment of triple negative breast cancer, which will save an average of 580 patients each year $80,000 per course of treatment.
  • Ofev® (nintedanib) for use in the treatment of progressive fibrosing interstitial lung disease, which will save more than 1,400 Australians around $40,000 a year.

The Government has already listed the COVID-19 treatment molnupiravir (Lagevrio®) on the PBS, which is now available on prescription to help prevent vulnerable Australians from developing more severe COVID-19, preventing hospitalisations and saving lives.

As a cost of living measure, the Government is investing $525.3 million to lower the PBS safety net thresholds from 1 July 2022 by the equivalent of 12 fully priced scripts for concession card holders and the equivalent of approximately two fully priced scripts for non-concessional patients. This is expected to benefit over 2.4 million people.

For concessional patients, the safety net threshold will be lowered by 25% from $326.40 to $244.80 – an $81.60 reduction for concessional patients. This means when a concession card holder reaches the safety net threshold, after 36 full priced concessional scripts, they will receive PBS medicines at no charge for the rest of the year.

For general patients, the general safety net threshold will reduce from $1,542.10 to $1,457.10 – an $85 reduction for non-concessional patients, which means that after the equivalent of about 34 full priced general co-payments, general patients pay only the concessional co-payment of $6.80 per PBS script for the balance of the year.

We are also investing $38.2 million to replace a range of medication stocks within the National Medical Stockpile (NMS) as they approach their expiry date. The NMS maintains critical supplies of medication, which can be deployed in the event of a natural disaster, accident, or terrorist attack. It will also allow the purchase of influenza treatments to ensure continued preparedness for the coming flu season.

Indigenous Health

The Government is investing more than $4.6 billion to prioritise and improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This health investment and our Government’s priority reforms follow the priorities and objectives of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, along with all Australians, will benefit from the Government’s overall investment of $537 billion across the entire Health portfolio. However, specific health initiatives and funding to benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people include:

  • $13.9 million towards the Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme, which will support 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander undergraduate students in health-related disciplines with full time scholarships worth up to $15,000 each per year and part time scholarships of up to $7,500 each per year
  • $8.6 million to establish the National Closing the Gap Policy Partnership on Social and Emotional Wellbeing to maintain momentum in reducing the devastating impact of mental ill-health and suicide on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities
  • $5.9 million to support priority populations, in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culturally and linguistically diverse background (CALD) communities, to catch up on missed health screening opportunities, and
  • $2.4 million, as part of the $16.6 million to support local mental health services in response to the 2022 East Coast floods, for local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to deliver culturally appropriate, locally-designed mental health services in impacted communities.

Digital Health

The Government is investing $72 million to modernise Australia’s health system, including delivering innovative new methods to provide care, and continuing the momentum for embracing new technologies through the Health Delivery Modernisation Program.

We are also investing $64.5 million for the 2018-2022 Intergovernmental Agreement on National Digital Health (IGA). This ensures interoperability within Australia’s national digital health infrastructure, to deliver improvements to health system quality and safety, accountability, transparency and patient-centred healthcare.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) will invest $2.9 million to continue to safeguard national health data critical to informing the Government’s Long-Term National Health Plan and improving the health and wellbeing of all Australians.

Supporting our hospitals

The Government continues to provide record investment into Australia’s hospital system, including more than $28.1 billion in the 2022-23 Budget, and an increase of $9.8 billion since 2021-22 Budget.

When we came in to Government in 2013, hospital spending was just $13.3 billion. The Coalition’s contribution to hospital funding has grown to $28.1 billion in 2022-23, and our investment will reach $32.7 billion a year in 2025-26.

In partnership with the Western Australian Government, the Coalition Government is contributing $375.6 million to establish a Western Australian Comprehensive Cancer Centre to improve access to world-class cancer care and ensure better health outcomes for West Australians with cancer.

The Coalition Government supports keeping private health insurance affordable and meeting the needs of patients. Landmark reforms to the Prostheses List have been secured through a multi-year Memorandum of Understanding with the Medical Technology Association of Australia. This is anticipated to deliver savings of around $900 million for consumers and the private health insurance system, through significant reductions in prices for medical devices.

The most significant structural reforms in two decades continue to place significant downward pressure on premium changes for Australians. The 2022, premium change, a 2.7% average increase, is the lowest in more than 21 years and the eighth successive decline in premium changes since 2012-13.

This is benefiting the 14 million (or 54.8%) Australians who have private health insurance which is now at a record level, with almost 760,000 Australians having taken up some type of private health over the past six years, including more than 300,000 since January 2021.

To protect the health of thousands of Australians, we are also investing $5.3 million to extend funding for Commonwealth clinical quality registries (CQRs) for implanted breast, cardiac, pelvic mesh, hip fracture or shunt device, and for treatment for diabetes or traumatic injury. These registries provide Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration with important track and trace capabilities.

Australia’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan – Stage 2

The Government will continue to deliver structural reform and real change in mental health and suicide prevention by building on the $2.3 billion Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan. With Stage 2 commitments to the Plan in the 2022-23 Budget worth $648.6 million, the total investment has grown to nearly $3 billion, including:

  • $336.3 million for prevention and early intervention
  • $344.7 million for suicide prevention
  • $1.8 billion for treatment
  • $149.8 million to support the vulnerable,
  • $290.9 million for workforce and governance

Our investment in the five pillars of the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan is helping ensure all Australians have access to high quality, compassionate, person-centred care wherever and whenever it is required.

Prevention and Early Intervention

Our support for prevention and early intervention in mental health will deliver more than $86.2 million including support for digital and telephone counselling services, which have seen a sharp increase in use by Australians during the pandemic. This includes $63.6 million, to continue support for digital mental health services, including Lifeline’s 13HELP Line.

In addition, the Government is investing $22.6 million to support mental health and wellbeing in education and home environments, boost service capacity to meet demand, and support further research into youth mental health and suicide prevention. This investment includes:

  • $9.7 million for nationally consistent mechanisms to better manage mental health and wellbeing concerns in schools
  • $1.8 million for the Raising Children Network to support and further develop the Raising Healthy Minds app, which aims to improve the mental health literacy of Australian parents and carers to identify signs of social or emotional problems in their children
  • $3.9 million for evidence-based mental health and suicide prevention research activities and services delivered by the Thompson Institute at the University of the Sunshine Coast, and
  • $3.3 million for the Raise Foundation to deliver its best-practice, early intervention and prevention student mentoring program to vulnerable students for a further two years.

Suicide Prevention

As part of our commitment to work towards zero suicides, we are investing $46.7 million to strengthen suicide prevention activities in local communities across the country, including:

  • $30.2 million to deploy regional and community-based suicide prevention systems across all PHNs nationally, ensuring that communities have the tools to identify and respond early to emerging issues
  • $10.4 million to fund a Suicide Prevention Regional Response Leader to coordinate early intervention and suicide prevention activities in each of Australia’s 31 PHNs, and
  • $4 million to expand on the existing research into suicide prevention by providing a further two years of funding for the Suicide Prevention Research Fund, delivered by Suicide Prevention Australia.

Treatment

The Government is investing $391.7 million to provide accessible and effective mental health treatment services as part of the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan – Stage 2.

The mental health and wellbeing of young Australians is a priority for our Government. To ensure continuity of care for vulnerable young Australians experiencing, or at risk of, psychosis, a further $206.5 million will be provided for the Early Psychosis Youth Services (EPYS) program, which is delivered by headspace. This includes expanding the program to the ACT and Tasmania, meaning the network will be able to help young people in every state and territory.

We’re continuing to invest in improving the quality and coordination of mental health treatment, including by investing $15.1 million to deliver multidisciplinary support through case conferencing for patients with a mental health or eating disorder. New MBS items will support linkages between a person’s general practitioner (GP) or other medical practitioner (OMPs) and other clinicians involved in their care, such as a paediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist, and allied health professionals. Up to four case conferencing sessions per calendar year will be available for patients with a referral under a Mental Health Treatment Plan, those already accessing MBS-subsidised care under the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners (Better Access) Initiative, or with a diagnosed eating disorder.

We will also invest $24.3 million to support critical new and existing treatment services for Australians with an eating disorder. This investment includes $20 million for specialised treatment services to be delivered in local community settings, supporting innovative and evidence-based models of care tailored to address identified local need.

In addition, $3.9 million will go towards existing eating disorder services:

  • $1.6 million for the National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC) to develop clinical resources, implementing the National Eating Disorders Strategy, support for clinical workforce development, and providing independent expert advice to Government
  • $1.3 million to the Wandi Nerida residential recovery centre on the Sunshine Coast, and

$1.1 million for the Butterfly Foundation to implement the eating disorder peer workforce project, as well as continuing to advise state and territory governments, and supporting the establishment of community-based residential eating disorder treatment centres.

As part of the Coalition Government’s commitment to enhance capacity within the health sector for victim-survivors of family, domestic and sexual violence (FDSV), the Government is investing:

  • $67.2 million (2022-23 to 2025-26) to pilot multidisciplinary care teams in six existing locations delivering trauma-informed mental health therapies designed to meet the needs of victim-survivors, and
  • $20 million (over four years from 2022-23; $25 million over five years) to the Illawarra Women’s Centre to support the establishment of a women’s trauma recovery centre.

Other investments in treatments include:

  • $14.3 million to enhance the capacity of new and existing headspace services, particularly in rural and remote Australia, and
  • $1.6 million for YMCA Peninsula Youth Services towards its integrated multi-disciplinary mental health and wellbeing services to young people experiencing mental ill-health in the Southern Mornington Peninsula through the operation of Jimmy’s Wellbeing Sanctuary.

The Government is also ensuring that mental health services and treatment are available to support to Australians impacted by natural disasters and other tragic events.

Our investment in helping Australians process these incidents include:

  • $31.2 million in mental health initiatives to support Australians impacted by the recent flood emergency in New South Wales and Queensland
  • $5 million to continue the Head to Health Pop Up clinics in NSW until 31 December 2022
  • $4 million to the Black Dog Institute to establish a new National Mental Health Service for Emergency Service Workers and Volunteers
  • $946,000 to extend the MBS items for Australians impacted by the bushfires for a further six months until 30 June 2022
  • $800,000 to provide for mental health support to Tasmania’s Devonport community including families, children and first responders as a response to the 16 December 2021 Hillcrest Primary School tragedy, and
  • $500,000 to accelerate the provision of headspace services in the Hawkesbury region due to the impact of the recent floods.

Supporting the vulnerable

The Government is investing $34.9 million to improve access to high quality mental health, suicide prevention, and social and emotional wellbeing services for indigenous and CALD communities.

  • $17.8 million will help deliver dedicated evidence-based mental health support to CALD communities in Australia, this includes:
    • $10 million in top-up funding for the 26-year Program of Assistance for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (PASTT), to continue to meet forecast demand for support to humanitarian entrants and survivors of torture and trauma, and
    • $7.8 million to ensure Translating and Interpreting Services are available through Primary Health Network-commissioned mental health services, removing a significant barrier to accessing these services for CALD Australians.
  • $8.6 million will help establish the National Closing the Gap Policy Partnership on Social and Emotional Wellbeing to maintain momentum in reducing the devastating impact of mental ill-health and suicide on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families and communities. The partnership will be co-designed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and state and territory governments.
  • $8.5 million will be invested in the Red Dust Program to support culturally appropriate mental health care in remote Northern Territory communities, focused on social and emotional wellbeing, sexual health, relationships, alcohol and other drugs, and Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Workforce and Governance

The Government is investing $89.2 million in bolstering the mental health workforce.

To implement the 10-Year National Mental Health Workforce Strategy, our Government is investing $60.7 million to build a sustainable, skilled, supported and equitably distributed workforce to deliver mental health care to meet Australia’s current and future needs. This includes:

  • $28.6 million to sustain growth in the psychiatry workforce, including support of up to 30 additional training posts and supervisors from 2023 to 2026, with a salary contribution similar to the funding through the Specialist Training Program
  • $18.3 million to optimise the existing workforce through developing and piloting the National Mental Health Pathways to Practice Program
  • $6 million to enhance workforce capabilities, including a free national support line for GPs to access clinical advice and support from psychiatrists
  • $2.2 million to support the mental health of the health workforce, including the Hand-in-Hand program and the Black Dog Institute’s The Essential Network
  • $904,000 to establish a mental health workforce strategic coordination and distribution mechanism to coordinate activity between governments, industry and across sectors, and
  • $725,000 for data, planning, monitoring and evaluation and to address gaps in mental health workforce data, and
  • $409,000 to reduce stigmatising attitudes and behaviours towards people with mental ill-health and promote mental health workforce for secondary and tertiary students

The Government is also providing $4.2 million to support headspace centres in regional, rural and remote areas to attract and employ GPs, enabling headspace services to deliver the complete model of enhanced primary care.

Preventive health

Preventive health is critically important to ensuring Australians are healthy, reversing the increase of preventable chronic conditions, strengthening our response to infectious diseases, and helping children with chronic conditions transition to adulthood and lead their best lives.

The National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030 is key to achieving a healthier Australia by 2030 through more physical activity, better nutrition, and reducing the use of alcohol and other harmful drugs. Our Government is providing $30.1 million to continue delivering the Strategy, with a focus on increasing physical activity and improving nutrition.

The next steps in implementing the Strategy include:

  • establishing evidence for a preventive health program connecting patients from primary health care to local, community-based services
  • continuing the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Healthy Habits program, assisting GPs to support patients taking positive lifestyle changes
  • continue core activities under the 5 National Blood Borne Viruses (BBV) and Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI) Strategies 2018-2022, to eliminate HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs as public health threats by 2030
  • continuing the Asthma Management Program
  • enabling the Heart Foundation to build on their successful walking initiatives to increase physical activity and participation among at-risk groups
  • update the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines to integrate 24-hour movement behaviours including physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep
  • develop a whole-of-government National Nutrition Policy Framework to identify, prioritise, drive and monitor healthy eating in Australia, and
  • supporting a feasibility study to examine unhealthy food and drink advertising to children.

The Government will also provide a grant worth $5 million to the Jreissati Family Pancreatic Centre at Epworth and complements investments in pancreatic cancer through the Pancreatic Cancer Roadmap and the MRFF. The funding will support efforts to seek ways to detect pancreatic cancer early and to improve treatment options. It will also help foster national and global collaborations and sharing of expertise and resources in the understanding and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

The Government is providing $28.1 million to commence work to establish Genomics Australia to support the implementation of genomics as a standard of healthcare in Australia.

Genomics Australia will lead the integration of genomics into our health system, to capitalise on the fundamental improvements it can make to the diagnosis of a range of illnesses, from cancer and diabetes to rare diseases. It is also the foundation of personalised medicine, allowing clinicians to tailor treatment to the patient to use medicines, which genetic analysis shows are going to be more effective or efficient forms of treatment.

The Government is also increasing the focus on allergies and anaphylaxis with an investment of $26.9 million to improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of allergic diseases, as well as support and advice for sufferers and their families.

Health and safety for Australia’s women and girls

We are investing more than $333 million to ensure that women and girls in Australia can continue to thrive – physically, mentally, socially and economically.

The funding will strengthen health services available to women and girls, through a range of new and continuing initiatives, including a focus on endometriosis, cancer screening and treatment, and sexual, maternal and reproductive health:

  • $58 million to support women experiencing endometriosis, a painful and debilitating condition which affects around one in nine Australian women
  • $1.6 million to establish a National Women’s Health Advisory Council to have responsibility for the monitoring and reporting on implementation of the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030, and
  • $500,000 towards the Her Heart Hub and cardiovascular health conference to address rising rates of cardio-vascular disease risk among women.

The Government is prioritising women’s safety with a range of measures as part of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032. Women and girls who have experienced intimate partner violence and/or sexual violence have poorer health and mental health, our Government has committed $137.6 million for targeted measures to address these health outcomes and support women’s recovery, including:

  • $67.2 million for the Trauma-informed Recovery Care pilot program, to trial a national model of care through PHNs to improve coordination and access to specialised, multidisciplinary recovery services
  • $48.7 million to support people who have experienced family, domestic and sexual violence to navigate the health system and access services. This will enhance and expand primary care models in all states and territories and to extend six existing pilot sites in Brisbane South, Central and Eastern Sydney, Nepean Blue Mountains, North Western Melbourne, Hunter New England and Central Coast, and Western Victoria for two years
  • $25 million over five years to support the Illawarra Women’s Health Centre to establish a women’s trauma recovery centre, and
  • $1.7 million to address the impacts of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C), including a competitive grant opportunity for community-led approaches for the prevention of FGM/C and support for the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health to establish a Community of Practice, mapping the health workforce supporting survivors of FGM/C across the nation.

The Government is also investing $1 million to address the core issues impacting the lives and livelihood of men, as part of our commitment to improving the long-term health outcomes for all Australian men and boys, including:

  • $700,000 for clinical guidelines to promote early detection and treatment of prostate cancer, and
  • $300,000 for a gap analysis to better inform future investment needs and priorities for male health.

Post-COVID-19 Preventive Health

As we move to living with COVID-19, it is important that Australians refocus on their overall health. We are investing $55.7 million to encourage Australians to resume having their regular health checks, diagnostic screening, and other preventive health activities. This investment includes:

  • $10.2 million for a cervical cancer screening campaign promoting the rollout of self-collect tests
  • $10.2 million for a colonoscopy triage nurse pilot to help improve colonoscopy access
  • $9.7 million for short term surge capacity for BreastScreen Australia
  • $5.9 million for rapid cervical screening testing and follow-up, including Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander communities, and
  • $4.1 million for a pilot of non-medical healthcare provider delivery of cervical screening.

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