register

News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

$8.5 billion ‘new’ health budget injection raises questions on allocation priorities

Health Industry Hub | May 13, 2024 |

As part of a broader health package set to be unveiled in Tuesday’s Federal Budget, the Labor government has earmarked $3 billion to strengthen Medicare and $227 million to establish 29 additional urgent care clinics nationwide, raising questions from the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) on the government’s priorities.

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler MP has confirmed that the Budget will feature $8.5 billion injection of ‘new’ health investment.

Despite a slow start, the existing 58 bulk-billed urgent care clinics have collectively accommodated nearly 400,000 patient visits across the country, since their inception last July. Initially introduced as part of Labor’s 2022 election campaign, urgent care clinics are tailored to cater to non-life-threatening cases during extended hours on weekdays and weekends, thereby alleviating strain on the public hospital system.

However, during the most recent Senate estimates, it emerged that many clinics had not fully met their operational targets, with only 16 out of the 58 clinics advertising their adherence to the intended schedule of operation, spanning from 8 am to 10 pm, seven days a week.

A significant portion of the newly allocated $8.5 billion health budget over the next four years will also be directed towards the 8th Community Pharmacy Agreement (8CPA). This decision follows the federal government’s commitment to allocate an extra $3 billion to offset losses incurred by pharmacy businesses due to the 60-day dispensing initiative.

While the federal government had initially pledged to reinvest $1.2 billion accrued through the scheme into pharmacies, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia vehemently opposed the original proposal in the last year. The additional $3 billion is just a fraction of the value of the agreement. The funding for pharmacies under the 7CPA is around $25 billion over its five-year life.

A $49 million funding boost will also see two new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) items added in July next year for specialist gynaecological appointments, for women living with endometriosis and complex gynaecological conditions.

While we await further details of the $8.5 billion investment in health, it is imperative that the Federal Budget accounts for consumer price index (CPI) growth, in addition to population growth and aging. Failure to do so would effectively lead to a decline in real-term funding for the health portfolio.

In reimagining healthcare across the entire patient journey, Health Industry HubTM is the only one-stop-hub bringing the diversity of Pharma, MedTech, Diagnostics & Biotech sectors together to inspire meaningful change.

The content on Health Industry Hub is copyright protected and should only be accessed under individual user licenses. To subscribe, please click here and visit T&Cs here.


News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Parliament passes lung cancer legislation

Parliament passes lung cancer legislation

Health Industry Hub | May 17, 2024 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and is responsible for almost one in […]

More


News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Senator Ruston criticises Budget's lack of 'real seamanship' in tackling pressing healthcare challenges

Senator Ruston criticises Budget’s lack of ‘real seamanship’ in tackling pressing healthcare challenges

Health Industry Hub | May 17, 2024 |

Pharma News: Senator Anne Ruston, Shadow Health Minister, was warmly welcomed at the Post-Budget event held in Parliament House yesterday […]

More


News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Baxter announces branding for spin-off kidney care business

Baxter announces branding for spin-off kidney care business

Health Industry Hub | May 17, 2024 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: Baxter has unveiled the mission and logo for its forthcoming kidney care and acute therapies company, […]

More


ESG

Health and climate strategy: All talk, no budget

Health and climate strategy: All talk, no budget

Health Industry Hub | May 16, 2024 |

ESG: The Federal Budget has sparked disappointment among health professionals for its lack of attention to addressing the escalating impacts […]

More


This content is copyright protected. Please subscribe to gain access.