Guaranteeing the essentials
Protecting and boosting the essential services Australians rely on
Ensuring Australians can access timely and affordable health care
All Australians can be assured Medicare is not only here to stay, but will be strengthened into the future.
The Government is guaranteeing vital health care services, with Commonwealth health funding expected to increase from $75.3 billion in 2017-18 to $82.6 billion in 2020-21.
Medicare Guarantee Fund
The Government is guaranteeing Medicare.
The Medicare Guarantee Fund will be established from 1 July 2017, to secure the ongoing funding of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), guaranteeing Australians’ access to these services and affordable medicines into the future.
The Fund provides transparency around the cost of running the MBS and PBS and guarantees the Government’s commitment to fund the affordable health care all Australians rely on.
Proceeds from the Medicare levy, less the portion set aside for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, will be paid into the Fund and topped up with a portion of personal income tax receipts to meet the combined cost of the MBS and PBS.
These amounts will be held in the Fund for the sole purpose of meeting the cost of essential health care provided under the MBS and PBS.
The Government will provide $1.0 billion to lift the freeze on the indexation of the MBS. To encourage GPs to bulk bill children under the age of 16 and concession card holders, bulk billing incentives will be indexed from 1 July 2017. The following year, fees for GP and specialist consultation items will be indexed, increasing the Government’s contribution to the cost of important health care services. From 1 July 2019, specialist procedure and allied health fees will be indexed.
On 1 July 2020, targeted diagnostic imaging items, such as computed tomography scans, mammography, fluoroscopy and interventional radiology, will also be indexed for the first time since 2004.
In addition, the Government will not proceed with changes to bulk billing incentives for pathology and diagnostic imaging services announced at the 2015-16 MYEFO, encouraging providers to continue to bulk bill patients.