Budget 2018: Looking forward
Aged care gets big boost in a budget also recognising Australians are living longer and want to stay healthy.
At a glance
- Medicare funding up by $4.8 billion;
- public hospital funding increasing by more than $30 billion;
- investment in new medicines up by $2.4 billion;
- funding for aged care increasing $5.0 billion.
The 2018 budget has been welcomed by health company Bupa which says it provides increased means for older people to remain in their own homes, while also giving all Australians better access to mental health services.
The government has recognised Australia’s rising ageing demographic.
At least 100,000 people are waiting for an aged care package, which provides up to $50,000 to spend on a range of services at home, rather than needing to move to a nursing home.
The budget announcement will provide 14,000 new places for home-care recipients over 4 years at a cost of $1.6 billion.
By 2021-22, over 74,000 high level home care places will be available, an increase of 86 per cent on 2017-18.
The government will also provide $146 million to improve access to aged care services in rural, regional and remote Australia.
There’ll be $83 million to support for mental health services in residential aged care facilities, especially to combat depression and loneliness.
There’ll be new support services and a national online register for enduring powers of attorney.
A new five-year hospitals agreement, to which state and territories are signing on will get $30 billion in additional funding.
MEDICARE AND THE PBS
Funding for Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) has been guaranteed in legislation.
This includes an extra $1.4 billion for listings on the PBS, including medicines to treat;
- spinal muscular atrophy
- breast cancer
- refractory multiple myeloma
- relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis
- as well as a new medicine to prevent HIV.
Lifeline Australia will receive additional support as will funding for Mental Health Research, with $125 million over 10 years from the Medical Research Future Fund.
The Government will provide $20.9 million to support parents and infants by funding tests to ensure debilitating conditions are detected early.
The Government will provide $154 million to promote active and healthy living, including $83 million to improve existing community sport facilities, and to expand support for the Sporting Schools and Local Sporting Champions programs.
Indigenous Australians get a $550 million commitment to address remote housing needs in the Northern Territory and $1.7 billion through our primary health care model.
Health packages for veterans will be expanded with a planned additional $112 million in this Budget,
The government says every dollar and every cent committed to delivering the National Disability Insurance Scheme remains in place.