2018-19 Federal Budget Report: Health

Investing in Australia’s Health

Record investment in health-related measures were announced to guarantee essential services for a “longer, healthier and safer life”. The measures also extend to finances and job skills so that “Australians can “live life to the full” and plan ahead.

What was announced

  • Record investment in quality healthcare and promoting healthy lifestyles
  • The More Choices for a Longer Life Package

Investing in the health of Australians

The Government’s focus is to provide timely and affordable access to quality health care and promoting healthy lifestyles by:
  • providing record levels of funding reaching $78.8 billion in 2018-19
  • entering into a new public hospital agreement that will deliver more than $30 billion in   additional funding between 2020-21 and 2024-25
  • providing $83.3 million over five years from 2017-18 to achieve stronger rural, regional and remote health outcomes
  • guaranteeing Medicare and new medicines – a commitment that funding for the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is guaranteed through the Government legislated Medicare Guarantee Fund
  • committing $1.4 billion for new and amended listings on the PBS, including medicines to treat spinal muscular atrophy, breast cancer, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and a new medicine to prevent HIV
  • providing $33.8 million to Lifeline Australia to enhance its telephone crisis services and $10.5 million funding for beyondblue and the Way Back Support Service
  • providing $20.9 million to improve the health of women and children in their first 2,000 days of life
  • funding $154.3 million to support Australians to take up healthier and more active lifestyles, including participating in community sport.

The More Choices for a Longer Life Package

This package includes:
  • online, interactive 45 and 65 year old checks across key areas of skills, finances and health, so Australians can plan ahead to get the most out of their longer lives, while having the flexibility to remain in the workforce if they choose.
  •  improving the quality of care and safety in aged care services to guarantee and respect the dignity of older Australians. Support for the mental health of older Australians will be boosted while helping them remain in their homes and connected to the community.
  • supporting older Australians to live a healthy, independent, connected and safe life, through a range of measures in key areas:
  • jobs and skills - to provide mature age workers with a range of options to remain in work including advice on relevant skills and training through the Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers and a contribution of up to $2,000 through the Skills and Training Incentive;
  • incentive for employers - expansion of the Restart wage subsidy providing up to $10,000 for Australians aged over 50 starting a new career;
  • finances for a longer life - to help Australians make the most of their retirement years (including an increase to the Pension Work Bonus to allow age pensioners to earn an extra $50 per fortnight without reducing their pension, and expansion of the Pension Loans Scheme for all Age Pension-aged Australians);
  • supporting choice and a healthy long life — providing an additional 14,000 high-level home care packages.