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Health and Aged Care - Contents


The Health and Aged Care Portfolio

Enhanced respite care services
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care 20.0 20.4 20.7 21.1
Explanation

The Government is expanding the provision of respite care for carers of people with dementia and other cognitive and behavioural problems. This measure will improve access to available respite services and increase the range of services and support.

Funding will be delivered through the National Respite for Carers Programme. There is currently around $208 million available for carer respite funding over the next four years.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in More Support for Carers.

Pre 1 October 1997 Nursing Home Residents
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
department of Health and Aged Care 4.5 3.2 3.0 3.2
Department of Veterans' Affairs 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.3

Total

4.9 3.5 3.3 3.5
Explanation

This measure is a cross-portfolio measure affecting both the Health and Aged Care and Veterans' Affairs portfolios.

The Government will provide funding to ensure that the small number of residents who have been in nursing home care since before 1 October 1997, and who move to another (non-extra service) facility, will not pay the accommodation charge.

Providers will be compensated for these residents to ensure that they are not financially disadvantaged by this change and to ensure access for any pre 1 October 1997 residents who move.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment.


Expanded Medicare easyclaim facilities
Expanded Medicare easyclaim facilities
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care 1.6 6.2 6.7 4.7
Explanation

The Government will establish up to 600 additional Medicare `easyclaim' facilities in rural and remote areas across Australia to assist people in those areas to access Medicare claiming services in a timely and convenient manner. Medicare claiming services will be provided via one of the various easyclaim technologies and from various outlets such as pharmacies, shire headquarters and rural transaction centres.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in Expanding Medicare Access for Rural and Regional Australia.

Further Information

Approximately 600 Medicare easyclaim facilities have already been installed in rural and remote communities and outer metropolitan growth areas. This measure will expand this network of Medicare claiming services.

Developing a national strategic approach to improving asthma management
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care 1.9 3.6 3.7 -
Explanation

The Government will fund the development and implementation of a national strategic approach to improve asthma management.

This initiative will comprise a range of activities, including the development of education resources and tools to encourage best practice in asthma management. These activities will either be delivered by the Department of Health and Aged Care or private providers through competitive tendering processes. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare will develop a national system for the collection and collation of asthma statistics.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in The Best of Health -- A Balanced Plan for a Stronger Australia.

Strengthening support for women with breast cancer
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care 0.8 1.3 1.0 1.0
Explanation

The Government will provide support services for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, particularly those in regional and rural areas. The measure will improve health outcomes for women with breast cancer through access to specialised health care and improved dissemination of information regarding existing support services.

Women diagnosed with breast cancer living in regional and rural areas face special barriers to accessing treatment options and support services, a result of both geographic isolation and limited contact with specialist health care workers. It is proposed to identify and establish appropriate health care worker positions for the provision of support and information for women with breast cancer. This measure will require the establishment and administration of specialised training for appropriate personnel.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in Opportunity and Choice.

Further Information

International experience has shown a significant improvement in outcomes for women with breast cancer who have received specialised health care.

Infrastructure support for health and medical research institutes
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care 5.0 15.0 - -
Explanation

The Government has decided to establish or augment physical facilities in health and medical research institutes. Many of Australia's top performing health and medical researchers are based in these independent institutes, which are acknowledged as world leaders for the conduct of high quality health and medical research.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in Opportunity and Choice.

Further Information

The funding will be provided through a competitive grants round. An expert Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council will advise the Minister on the allocation of the funds. Its recommendations will be based on the scientific excellence of the research currently being undertaken within an institute and the demonstrated need for

new or augmented facilities in order to improve that level of research excellence in Australia.

Fighting suicide
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care 0.8 10.2 10.4 10.6
Explanation

The Government will strengthen and build on the success of the National Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy to extend it across the whole age spectrum. This measure involves $48 million of funding over the next five years.

The Fighting Suicide initiative will be delivered through a whole of community approach to suicide and build upon links and partnerships with government, non-government, business and community organisations which already provide valuable services and support to people at risk of suicide. In addition, it will support primary prevention and community development projects, monitor media reporting and portrayal of suicide, reduce access to methods of suicide and provide support to rural and indigenous communities that have a high incidence of suicide.

Specific activities will include improving the evidence base in suicide prevention, providing professional education and training, enhancing specialist services, and building networks between primary care providers including non-government, general practice and other organisations at a community level.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in Our Families, Our Strength, Our Future.

Further Information

Fighting Suicide will draw on the experience of the successful Youth Homelessness Task Force and Tough on Drugs Strategy to involve community organisations in the development and implementation of practical initiatives to prevent suicide.

National Illicit Drug Strategy -- additional funding for drug treatment
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care 2.5 2.5 2.6 2.6
Explanation

The Government will provide additional funding for drug treatment services under the Government's National Illicit Drug Strategy (NIDS) to establish new non-government organisation treatment services for illicit drug users and to allow the expansion of existing

services. The funding is in addition to the $51 million provided in 1997-98 for treatment services under NIDS.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in Tough on Drugs -- Strengthening the Fight.

Further Information

This programme builds on the National Illicit Drug Strategy announced by the Prime Minister in 1997-98, providing additional funding for the expansion of drug treatment services.

The additional funding will be complemented by an expansion of school-based drug education (to be implemented by the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs) and by law enforcement initiatives, continuing the Government's balanced and integrated approach to reducing the supply of, and demand for, illicit drugs and minimising the harm they cause.

See also the following related NIDS expense measures in Budget Paper 2:


and the following related capital measures in Budget Paper 2:

Improved living conditions in remote communities
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission
-

-

-

-
Total 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3
Explanation

This measure is a cross-portfolio measure affecting both the Health and Aged Care and Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolios.

The Government will continue the Army/ATSIC Community Assistance Programme (AACAP) as part of a coordinated approach to provide environmental and health infrastructure to remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This measure will extend the AACAP project for another four years. The extension of this programme meets an election commitment made by the Government to improve the basic infrastructure available in remote Indigenous communities.

Work to be undertaken will include improvements to water, sewage, and power systems, the construction and upgrade of community housing and facilities, and improvements to roads and airstrips for an additional four or five remote Aboriginal communities.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in Beyond Welfare.

Further Information

Funding made available through this initiative will be matched by existing funds from ATSIC's National Aboriginal Health Strategy. The Army will contribute personnel, the use of construction equipment and expertise to the venture.

Bush Crisis Line upgraded
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care - - - -
Explanation

The Government will fund the continuation and expansion of the Bush Crisis Line, a 24-hour telephone crisis debriefing and counselling service which assists isolated rural and remote area health professionals to cope with job related trauma.

This initiative will provide improved services to a wide range of rural and remote health professionals, including those working in the field of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

health. This measure will increase the number of psychologist/counsellor positions, including provision for Indigenous co-counselling and access to locum/treatment services.

The cost of the measure is $559,000 over three years and will be funded from within existing portfolio resources.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in Opportunity and Choice.

Further Information

The Bush Crisis Line is a personal support network which provides crisis debriefing and counselling for job related trauma among isolated rural and remote health practitioners and their families through a 24-hour free call 1800 number.

Simplifying aged care planning for rural and remote areas
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care 1.2 1.9 1.2 1.0
Explanation

The Government will fund a review and improve planning arrangements for residential and community aged care. The review will focus on ensuring the needs of communities in rural and regional Australia are met in the planning process. This will provide greater flexibility and responsiveness in the delivery of aged care services to all older Australians.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in Older Australians -- A Secure and Stable Future.

Fly-in fly-out female general practitioner services to meet the needs of rural women
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care 2.0 2.0 2.1 2.1
Explanation

The Government will establish "fly-in fly-out" female general practitioner services for women living in rural and remote areas who currently do not have access to a female general practitioner.

The service will provide primary health care interventions -- such as cervical cancer screening, breast and skin examination -- and other preventive health care for women living in remote locations. The service will identify and provide the necessary intervention for other complex conditions such as cardio-vascular disease, diabetes, psychosocial problems and conditions related to the reproductive system and/or sexual health.

The Royal Flying Doctor Service will be centrally involved in the administration of the initiative, under arrangements that will seek to complement and draw together existing services in this area.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in The Best of Health -- A Balanced Plan for a Stronger Australia.

Further training for remote area nurses
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care - - - -
Explanation

The Government will fund first line emergency care training for remote area nurses to enable them to better assist victims of emergencies and trauma who are remote from modern life saving equipment and back-up emergency transport. This additional training will enable remote area nurses to treat patients pending the availability of further medical treatment. It will also ensure that a mobile group of emergency medicine specialists, medical practitioners and specially trained emergency care nurses are able to provide courses of instruction in first line emergency care to remote area nurses.

The measure will complement the ongoing emergency aero-medical evacuation services provided to remote areas of Australia by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

The cost of the measure is $75,000 a year and will be funded from within existing portfolio resources.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in Opportunity and Choice.

Retention payments for general practitioners in rural and remote areas
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care 10.5 10.7 10.9 11.0
Explanation

The Government will introduce retention payments for long serving general practitioners as an incentive for them to continue to practice in rural and remote areas.

It is envisaged that eligibility for incentive payments and the amount paid to individual doctors will take into account both the length of service and the remoteness of the area they are practising in.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in The Best of Health (Rural and Regional Australia).

Further Information

Rural and remote communities are disadvantaged by their inability to attract and retain general practioners. There remains a need to provide adequate general practitioner services in rural areas and to provide support and encouragement for rural health workers.

About half of the general practitioners who move to rural areas remain there for less than two years. The Rural and Remote General Practice Programme, administered by State and Territory based Rural Workforce Agencies, currently attempts to address the recruitment and retention problems by providing flexible packages of incentives in particular communities. The retention payments will complement this programme.

30 new Regional Health Service Centres
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care 5.9 11.8 11.7 11.4
Explanation

The Government will establish 30 Regional Health Service Centres in rural communities across Australia. This will build on the successful Multipurpose Service programme under which the Commonwealth and States jointly fund services through flexible funding arrangements.

Regional Health Service Centres will enable a range of health, aged care and community services to be provided, based on community need, with particular emphasis on primary health care. These services could include rural health promotion, general practitioner services, illness and injury prevention, acute and palliative care, women's health, children's services, community nursing, aged care, mental health, podiatry, radiology and immunisation.

The Commonwealth will work closely with State and Territory Governments and local communities to ensure effective and coordinated services responsive to the needs of local communities. Where necessary, community planning managers will be employed to assist communities in the planning of services to reduce establishment times, assist in transition arrangements and ensure that services are responsive to community needs. Information technology infrastructure will be funded to enhance services and skills by linking Regional Health Service Centres to other services and infrastructure.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in The Best of Health (Rural and Regional Health).

100 extra aged care beds in Regional Health Service Centres
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care - 0.3 0.6 1.1
Explanation

The Government will fund 100 additional residential aged care places for Regional Health Service Centres, building upon its commitment to provide flexible service alternatives for older Australians living in rural and remote areas.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in The Best of Health (Rural and Regional Health).

Establishing regional medical schools
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care 4.0 4.1 5.2 5.3
Explanation

The Government will establish a clinical school to be based in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, and a medical school at James Cook University in Queensland. This measure is supported by an allocation from the Education, Training and Youth Affairs Portfolio for 60 medical places at James Cook University, including 20 new places.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in The Best of Health (Rural and Regional Health).

Further Information

The Government made a commitment to provide $10 million in capital funding for a new medical school at James Cook University.

This funding, conditional upon Australian Medical Council accreditation of the medical school, is provided on the understanding that it matches $10 million pledged by the Queensland Government. Some of the funding for the establishment of a clinical school at Wagga Wagga will be resourced from existing portfolio allocations.

There is a shortage of medical practitioners in rural areas. Evidence suggests that both increasing the number of rural students in medicine and increasing exposure to rural service in medical training will improve the recruitment and retention of medical practitioners in rural areas. This measure is consistent with other initiatives such as providing financial assistance to universities to increase the number of indigenous and rural students enrolled in medicine.

See the related expense measure below titled Additional places for the James Cook University Medical School.

National Institute of Clinical Studies
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Health and Aged Care - - - -
Explanation

The Government has already committed $20.2 million for the establishment of a National Institute of Clinical Studies, which will provide resources for evidence-based clinical practice. The work of the Institute will assist in improving health outcomes and containing health costs in the public and private systems. It will work with clinicians and their teams to develop and implement best practice clinical care through acquiring and developing clinical care measurement and assessment skills and process management techniques. There is to be a review after two years of operation.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in The Best of Health -- A Balanced Plan for a Stronger Australia.

Further Information

In The Best of Health -- A Balanced Plan for a Stronger Australia, the Government made a commitment to provide $20 million over 4 years (on a cash outlays basis).

In the MYEFO the Government announced funding of $5.1 million for 1999-00 and $5.2 million for 2000-01. Conditional funding of $5.2 million for 2001-02 and $5.3 million for 2002-03 was included in the Contingency Reserve at that time.

There has since been a rephasing of funding to take account of the time required to establish the Institute, which may not be fully operational before the end of 1999. Funding is now around: $2.5 million for 1999-00; $7.5 million for 2000-01; $5.1 million for 2001-02; and $5.2 million for 2002-03.

The Education, Training and Youth Affairs Portfolio

Additional places for the James Cook University Medical School
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs - 1.2 2.2 3.0
Explanation

The Government will provide funding for 60 medical places at James Cook University (JCU) in Queensland commencing at the start of the 2001 academic year.

The increased funding honours an election commitment to support the allocation of $10 million from the Health and Aged Care portfolio for capital works to establish the JCU Medical School. This is conditional on matched funding being provided by the Queensland Government.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in The Best of Health (Rural and Regional Health).

Further Information

Twenty of the 60 medical places will be new places allocated to JCU, while the remaining 40 places will be transferred from existing medical schools. Five of the new student places will be earmarked for indigenous students, and 15 for students from rural or remote areas. Institutions prepared to release places from medical schools will, subject to negotiation, be able to reallocate resources to other purposes.

See related Health and Aged Care portfolio measure above entitled Establishing regional medical schools.

The Industry, Science and Resources Portfolio

Tough on Drugs in Sport
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Australian Sports Commission 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Australian Sports Drug Agency 1.2 1.3 1.1 1.0
Department of Industry, Science and Resources 1.1 - - -
Total 2.3 1.3 1.2 1.1
Explanation

The Government will fund initiatives to enhance current activity to deter the use of banned performance enhancing drugs. The major elements of the initiative include:

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment in Tough on Drugs -- Strengthening the Fight and A Winning Advantage to combat the illegal use of drugs in sport.

Further Information

The $1.1 million cost of the international drugs in sport symposium is to be absorbed by the Department of Industry, Science and Resources. See the related expense measure in Budget Paper 2 titled Department of Industry, Science and Resources -- use of departmental expenses to partially offset election commitments and other measures.

Funding for the Australian Sports Commisision
  1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Expense ($million)
Australian Sports Commission 1.9 50.9 46.1 49.1
Explanation

The Government will guarantee support for sport and recreation by continuing the current funding arrangements for the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) from 2000-01 and provide additional funding of $1.8 million to assist Australia's Paralympic athletes prepare for the Sydney 2000 Paralympics.

The funding will enable maintenance of the national sports network developed by the ASC in consultation with all the States and Territories and with national sporting organisations.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitments in A Winning Advantage, including those for athlete preparation for the Sydney Olympics and Paralympics.

Further Information

The ASC expects to obtain a further $26.6 million in revenue over the four years to 2002-03 from non-budget sources. The revenue is likely to come from contributions and fees for the delivery of programmes and services to national sporting organisations and government agencies.


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