Insight,

Federal Budget 2022-23: Health & aged care

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This year’s Budget has a strong focus on health and aged care. In addition to the Government’s continued response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, additional measures and significant funding has been committed to Medicare related initiatives, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, mental health services and women’s health care.

Ageing & Aged Care

The Government will commit $468.3 million over 5 years from 2021-22 to continue its response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, continue implementing aged care reforms from last financial year, and to improve transparency and regulatory standards.

The funding includes:

  • $345.7 million over 4 years from 2022-23 to improve the administration of medication management for residential aged care residents;
  • $32.8 million over 4 years from 2022-23, and $2.8 million per year thereafter, to provide additional clinical placements for students in the care and support sectors and to expand the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program to 5 new aged care demonstration sites;
  • $22.1 million over 3 years from 2022-23 to establish a fund and invite states and territories to put forward proposals to trial new models of multidisciplinary outreach care for residents in residential aged care facilities; $5.4 million in 2022-23 to continue consultation on wider aged care reforms; and
  • $20.1 million over 3 years from 2022-23 to complete implementation of the Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) and support the transition of facilities to the new funding model over a 2-year period.
Aged Care Sector Deep Dive

In this deeper dive, we focus on the measures relating to aged care.

COVID-19 Response Package

The Government will provide additional funding to support Australians and continue the health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Key measures include:

  • an additional $458.1 million over 5 years from 2021-22 to Australians in the aged care sector respond to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • $892.1 million over 2 years from 2021-22 to continue the health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to support access to health care services and reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19;
  • $2.6 billion over 2 years from 2021-22 for the procurement and distribution of rapid antigen tests (RATs) and personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • $1.1 billion over 2 years from 2022-23 to support the Government’s emergency response to COVID-19, including:
    • funding for the extension of activities under the National Partnership on COVID-19 Response and activities of the National Incident Centre and Therapeutic Goods Administration;
    • supporting the expanded operation and modelling for the National Medical Stockpile (NMS);
    • the purchase of pulse oximeters, and the distribution of pulse oximeters and PPE through the NMS for General Practices (GPs), GP led Respiratory Clinics, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, and community pharmacies; and
    • funding for the Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Disease Emergencies, to support national coordination of efforts across academic institutions;
  • $1.0 billion over 2 years from 2021-22 for the continued distribution and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines across Australia;
  • $100.0 million over 5 years from 2021-22 to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and $85.0 million to access vaccines for low income counties through the COVAX Facility; and
  • Extension of the COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme to include children aged 0 to 4 years and fourth doses for priority cohorts to access compensation for claims related to the administration of Therapeutic Goods Administration approved COVID 19 vaccines.

mRNA vaccination manufacturing

The Government has executed an agreement with Moderna to establish sovereign mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability in collaboration with the Victorian Government. The facility will be based in Victoria and will provide Australia with priority access to mRNA vaccines, and support research and development and domestic preparedness for possible future pandemics.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

The Government has made a few key commitments in relation to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS):

Funding of PBS litigation

The Government will continue to fund funding for legal action seeking compensation for losses incurred as a result of pharmaceutical companies delaying the listing of generic forms of medicines on the PBS through undue legal actions.

New and amended listings

An additional $2.4 billion will be allocated over 5 years from 2021-22 for new and amended listings on the PBS, the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the Stoma Appliance Scheme and the National Epidermolysis Bullosa Dressing Scheme.

Lowering the Safety Net threshold

$525.3 million has been committed over 4 years from 2022-23 to reduce the PBS Safety Net thresholds (effective 1 July 2022), benefiting an estimated 2.4 million Australians.

  • This measure will result in patients reaching the Safety Net sooner each year, with approximately 12 fewer scripts for concessional patients and 2 fewer scripts for general patients in a calendar year.
  • On reaching the PBS Safety Net, concessional patients receive their PBS medicines at no cost for the rest of the calendar year and general patients receive their PBS medicines at the concessional co-payment rate which is currently $6.80 per prescription.

Women’s Health Package

The Government has committed $163.3 million over 4 years from 2022-23 for a range of initiatives focused n improving women’s health and continuing the implementation of the National Women’s Health Strategy 2020-2030 (the Strategy). The funding includes:

  • A total of $58.3 million in funding over the next 2-4 years from 2022-23 for endometriosis diagnosis and primary care support services;
  • $39.8 million over 3 years from 2023-24 for the McGrath Foundation to continue the Breast Care Nurses Program; and
  • $23 million in funding over the next 3-4 years from 2022-23 for maternal health bereavement support services.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

The Government will continue to deliver services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and has committed an additional $157.8 billion over 4 years, with $33.9 billion budgeted for 2022-23. Key NDIS measures in the 2022-23 budget relevant to the NDIS include:

  • Initiatives under a whole of Government Care and Support Workforce Strategy;
  • Supply of Rapid Antigen tests to NDIS participants in Supported Independent Living facilities, and workers in these facilities; and
  • Improving Australia’s digital health services and payments system.

Guaranteeing Medicare

A range of funding has been allocated to Medicare-related schemes, including:

  • $230.7 million over 5 years from 2021-22 to improve access to primary health care services, including through better integration of services;
  • $224.4 million over 4 years from 2022 23 to improve access to health services and support doctors delivering primary care in rural and remote Australia;
  • $131.3 million over 5 years from 2021-22 to update the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS);
  • $66.0 million over 4 years from 2022-23 to remove the restriction on the number of magnetic resonance imaging machines eligible for Medicare in regional, rural and remote Australia; and
  • $35.2 million over 4 years from 2022-23 to support Digital Health programs.

Life saving and job creating medical research

The Government is committing a further $1.3 billion under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Ten Year Investment Plan to provide research funding to target areas, including for medical translation to support medical discoveries become part of medical practice; for medical research; and to support patients by funding innovative treatments, supporting clinical trials, and delivering more advanced health care and medical technology.

The Government has also committed extending the Biomedical Translation Fund’s (BTF) initial investments period by a further 3 years to support the commercialisation of biomedical discoveries.

Fighting cancer

The Government has committed $423.7 million over 5 years from 2021-22 to support specialist facilities and research to fight and prevent cancer.

Japanese Encephalitis Virus National Plan

The Government has committed $69.0 million over 2 years from 2021-22 for the Japanese Encephalitis Virus National Plan. This includes funding for the purchase of 125,000 doses of the Imojev vaccine (Sanofi Aventis Australia) and 10,000 doses of the JEspect vaccine (Seqirus).

Mental health

The Government has committed $547.0 million over 5 years from 2021-22 to provide mental health Stage 2 reforms through the 5 pillars of the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan. These pillars are:

  • Prevention and Early Intervention ($76.4 million over 5 years from 2021-22 committed);
  • Suicide Prevention ($46.7 million over 2 years from 2022-23 committed);
  • Treatment ($285.5 million over 5 years from 2021-22 committed);
  • Supporting Vulnerable Australians ($44.9 million over 4 years from 2021-22 committed); and
  • Workforce and Governance ($93.2 million over 5 years from 2021-22 committed).

Preventative health

$170.2 million will be provided over 5 years from 2021-22, then $4.9 million per year thereafter, for preventive health initiatives.

An additional $30.1 million will be committed over 4 years from 2022-23 to improve health outcomes through preventive and other health initiatives under the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030.

Health Delivery Modernisation Program - Phase Three

The Government has committed an additional $96.8 million over the 4 years from 2022-23, and then $2.2 million per year thereafter, for system upgrades to reduce manual processing and to improve claim timeframes for patients and medical providers for Medicare services, the PBS and other health related payments.

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