Fact sheet: Investing in the health of Australians

The Government is investing in primary care, hospitals and medicines as the foundation of our world class healthcare system

Total Commonwealth health spending is expected to increase from $81.8 billion in 2019-20 to $89.5 billion in 2022-23.

Guaranteeing and strengthening Medicare

The Government is guaranteeing Medicare and making record investments in the health system.

The Government is helping to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for patients by providing $199 million to index diagnostic imaging items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) from 1 July 2020. To support about 14,000 breast cancer patients each year, a further $32.6 million is being provided to reduce the cost of services for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

The Government is delivering a $1.1 billion Strengthening Primary Care package, including $448 million in increased funding to enhance the care and services GPs provide to high needs patients, and $187 million to increase the patient rebate for a further 119 GP items on the MBS from 1 July 2019.

To help reduce the prevalence of heart disease, the Government will introduce a new MBS item for heart health checks, and providing funding for the Childhood Heart Disease National Action Plan.

The Government is investing $152 million in new MRI licences, bringing total funding since 2018 to $379 million for 53 new MRI licences nationally. This will give patients from around Australia better access to lifesaving scans, including at Mount Druitt Hospital in New South Wales, Ipswich Hospital in Queensland and Kalgoorlie Health Campus in Western Australia.

Delivering more health and hospital services

Commonwealth funding for public hospitals will exceed $97 billion over four years from 2019-20.

Through the $1.3 billion Community Health and Hospitals Program, the Government is boosting health services across Australia in the priority areas of hospital infrastructure; drug and alcohol treatments; preventative health, primary care and chronic disease management; and mental health. Funding includes:

  • $100 million for a Comprehensive Children’s Cancer Centre in Sydney
  • $80 million to establish a Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy in Victoria
  • $30 million for the construction of a new Brain and Spinal Ward in South Australia.

More affordable access to medicines

This Budget includes $331 million for new and amended listings on the PBS, including life changing medicines to treat lung, bladder, kidney and skin cancer as well as leukaemia. Patients will be able to access these medicines for just $40.30 per script, or $6.50 with a concession card.

World-class research

The Government is committed to ensuring Australia is a leader in medical research through its Medical Research Future Fund - one of the largest medical research funds in the world.

The Government’s $5 billion Ten Year Investment Plan for the Medical Research Future Fund is providing support for world class medical research, more clinical trials and the development of health innovations. The Plan includes $614 million for rare cancers and diseases; $220 million for cardiovascular health; $605 million for clinical infrastructure; and $150 million for stem cell research.

Prioritising mental health

It is estimated that 1 in 5 people in Australia experience a mental health disorder in any given year. The Government is delivering more services for people living with mental illness and to tackle youth suicide.

Additional funding of $111 million is being provided for 30 new headspace services by 2021, to support young people.

The Government is providing $152 million to reduce waiting lists for headspace, $110 million to extend the Early Psychosis Youth Services program for two years, and $115 million to trial eight adult mental health centres. The Government is also providing $54 million to establish four specialist residential facilities for eating disorders.

More active Australia

The Government is providing $386 million to build on Sports 2030 by encouraging Australians to increase their participation and upgrading sporting infrastructure. This includes $150 million for female change room facilities at sporting grounds and community swimming facilities; and $41 million to continue and expand the Sporting Schools Program to provide free sport‑based activities for school students.