Guaranteeing the essentials
Protecting and boosting the essential services Australians rely on
A healthy Australia
Providing affordable medicines and investing in mental health and public hospitals
Continuing to provide access to new medicines
Australians will continue to have affordable access to new medicines, with the Government meeting its commitment to list cost‑effective medicines on the PBS.
In this Budget, $1.2 billion will be provided for new and amended listings on the PBS, including more than $510 million for Sacubitril with valsartan (Entresto®).
Since 2013, the Government has listed more than 1400 new or amended medicines on the PBS averaging 32 new and amended listings a month. These new listings include breakthrough medicines to treat breast cancer, Hepatitis C, cystic fibrosis and severe asthma.
Investing in mental health
More than $115 million will be invested in mental health, including $80 million for psychosocial services, $9.1 million in funding for rural telehealth psychological services, $15.0 million for priority mental health research and $11.1 million to address suicide hotspots.
The Government is providing further mental health support for veterans and their families, by investing $9.8 million to fund pilot programs to improve mental health services and support suicide prevention efforts for veterans.
The Government will also provide $33.5 million to ensure anyone who has served a single day in the full-time Australian Defence Force can seek treatment for mental health conditions and $8.5 million to expand access to counselling services for veterans’ families.
Funding public hospitals
Record levels of financial assistance will be provided to State Governments to deliver the public hospital services Australians need.
Commonwealth payments to the States for public hospitals continue to grow strongly, from $13.8 billion in 2013-14 to an estimated $22.7 billion in 2020-21.
On current Budget forecasts, an additional $7.7 billion will be provided to the States and Territories from 2016-17 to 2020-21 giving effect to the Heads of Agreement on public hospital funding signed by COAG on 1 April 2016.
In this Budget the Government has committed new funding for medical research, $65.9 million will be provided from the Medical Research Future Fund to support preventative health research, clinical trials and breakthrough research investments.
In addition, $5.8 million will be provided for research into childhood cancer.