New investments in hospitals and health services in the 2011‑12 Budget

The Government is making major investments in hospitals and health services. In the 2011‑12 Budget, the Government is committing over $3 billion in new initiatives over the forward estimates.

The Government is announcing a $2.2 billion package over five years to deliver on its commitment to make mental health a national priority and take the first step towards reform

This Budget will deliver $1.5 billion in new initiatives over five years including:

  • $571 million to expand services and improve their delivery for people with severe mental illness;
  • $492 million for prevention and early intervention mental health services for children and young people;
  • $220 million to improve access to the primary health care system for people with mental illness; and
  • $32 million for a National Mental Health Commission to increase accountability and transparency, including $12 million in new funding.

This $2.2 billion package includes significant investments recently made by the Government — such as tackling suicide, and more mental health nurses. The Government is also investing in sub-acute mental health beds through COAG.

The Government is providing $1.8 billion over six years to deliver important health infrastructure for regional Australia

This includes funding for 63 projects across Australia and a further regional priority round of the Health and Hospitals Fund to help ensure that regional hospitals and health services receive critical upgrades.

This Budget invests $740 million over five years to give Australians affordable access to medicines and technologies

This includes:

  • $613 million for the latest medicines and immunisations; and
  • $104 million to expand access to Magnetic Resonance Imaging services.

This Budget allocates $53 million over four years to help address the long-term challenges in dental health

The Government will introduce a voluntary dental internship year targeted at the public dental system.

The Government is also providing $139 million over four years to continue the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program


Delivering on the Government's health reform

These investments build on the Government's national health reform to ensure future generations of Australians enjoy world class health care by increasing funding and transparency in our public health system.

In an important milestone, all States and Territories signed a new deal on National Health Reform in February 2011 which guarantees the States and Territories $16.4 billion in additional funding from 2014-15 to 2019-20 for growth in hospital services.