World’s best health system protected in Federal Budget
Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said residents in the New England Electorate will continue to have access to the world’s best doctors, nurses, hospitals and medicines after the Federal Coalition Government committed to continuing Medicare and build on what is the world’s best health system well into the future in the recent Budget.
“The 2017-18 Budget supports our Long-Term National Health Plan – based on the four pillars of guaranteeing Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme; supporting hospitals; prioritising mental and preventive health; and investment in medical research,” Mr Joyce said.
“It includes a $10 billion package to invest in Australia’s health system and the health of Australians, and is the first time that a Federal Government has simultaneously agreed partnerships with our doctors, specialists, pharmacists and the medicines sector.
“Medicare funding will increase by $2.4 billion over the next four years, including a $1 billion commitment to our doctors and patients by restoring indexation of the Medicare rebate commencing with GP bulk billing arrangements from 1 July 2017.
“This means that in the New England, local patients and the 225 GPs of New England will benefit from the Coalition Government’s rock solid commitment to Medicare.
“Another delivery for the New England is the introduction of Health Care Homes and the Government is working closely with doctors on the introduction of our innovative model of care to improve the services for people with complex and chronic conditions, with trials underway shortly.”
The following six sites in New England will be a part of the Health Care Homes trial:
Armajun Aboriginal Health Service - Armidale Clinic;
Armajun Aboriginal Health Service - Glen Innes Clinic;
Armajun Aboriginal Health Service - Inverell Clinic;
Armajun Aboriginal Health Service - Tingha Clinic;
Quirindi Health Centre;
Windmill Practice Tamworth.
Other commitments delivered in the Budget include patient access to a wider range of services from their community pharmacy, including home visits to eligible patients to help them manage their medications. Up to 100 Pharmacists in New England will benefit from the Turnbull/Joyce Government’s Agreement with the Pharmacy Guild which will deliver medicines reform and an $825 million investment to strengthen patient outcomes and community pharmacy.
Also for aged care, 19 Commonwealth Home Support Programme Providers and 1906 aged care clients in New England will benefit from the Turnbull/Joyce Government’s extension of funding arrangements for up to $5.5 billion over two years, from 2018–19 to 2019–20, for assessments and service delivery.
The Commonwealth Home Support Programme will provide continuity of essential support services to approximately 900,000 older Australians to help them continue living at home and in their communities.
Other Key announcements for the health sector include:
·Key Commonwealth funding for hospitals will increase by $2.8 billion. This brings additional support for hospitals across Australia delivered under the Turnbull/Joyce Government to $7.7 billion.
We are delivering a $115 million boost for mental health support, treatment and research, including $9.1 million for tele-health services for regional areas.
A Prime Minister’s Walk for Life Challenge, to be led by the Heart Foundation, will support up to 300,000 Australians to become new regular walkers. This measure will cost $10 million.
$15.5 million to support our athletes and help inspire young Aussies ahead of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, plus $34.2 million for operational and security activities.
$10.8 million to fight childhood cancer. This includes $1.4 million for paediatric brain cancer clinical trials and $4.4 million for Cancer Australia, plus $68 million for a Proton Beam Therapy facility and research in South Australia.
We are on track to double our current medical research funding with $1.4 billion allocated under the Medical Research Future Fund – including $642.9 million in 2020-21.
$5.5 billion extension of the funding arrangement for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme over two years from 1 July 2018, which covers services such as meals on wheels.
For more information on 2017-18 Budget measures, visit: www.budget.gov.au