Australian Government, 2012‑13 Budget
Budget

Part 2: Expense Measures (Continued)

Health and Ageing

Aged Care — Home and Community Care — transition

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - - - - -

The Government will provide $102.2 million over five years, including $7.1 million in 2011‑12, to enable the Department of Health and Ageing to administer home and community care services for people aged 65 years and over (and 50 years and over for Indigenous Australians) as part of the development of a nationally consistent aged care system. Home and community care services assist older people with basic maintenance and support services to help them continue to live in their own home and community.

The Council of Australian Governments agreed on 19 April 2010 that the Commonwealth Government would take full responsibility for basic home and community care services for older Australians (except in Victoria and Western Australia) by 1 July 2012.

This measure has no impact on the Budget and the forward estimates as it redirects resources previously applied to the administration of the Home and Community Care program by the States and Territories (excluding Victoria and Western Australia) to the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.

As part of the Living Longer. Living Better package the Government will establish a national Commonwealth Home Support Program, including services provided under the existing Home and Community Care Program. In developing the Commonwealth Home Support Program, the Government will review services being delivered, including meals on wheels, transport and home modification maintenance. The review will inform a move to more consistent and equitable service delivery arrangements and more national consistency in what people contribute to the cost of these services.

Antivenom production in Australia — continued manufacturing

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7

The Government will provide an additional $2.7 million over four years to CSL Limited to help meet the increased costs of manufacturing antivenom products in Australia. This funding delivers on the Government's commitment to maintain national capacity for antivenom production.

Initial funding for this measure was provided in the 2007‑08 Budget measure titled Antivenom production in Australia — continued manufacturing.

Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - nfp - - -

The Government will provide funding in 2012‑13 to progress the establishment of the Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency. The joint agency will regulate medicines, medical devices and other therapeutic goods in Australia and New Zealand.

The process of staged implementation of the new arrangements will include enhanced cooperation between the Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia) and Medsafe (New Zealand); establishing a Transition Agency to facilitate bilateral cooperation and joint planning and implementation; a progress review of business‑to‑business projects; and initial work on development of a common regulatory framework.

This measure builds on the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2011‑12 measure titled Therapeutic products — establishment of the Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency.

The expenditure for this measure is not for publication (nfp) due to ongoing negotiations with the New Zealand Government.

Further information can be found in the press release of 20 June 2011 issued by the Prime Minister.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care — phased expansion

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing -3.4 -2.5 - - -

The Government has rephased the expansion of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC), to allow more time for consultations with the key stakeholders in the development of national clinical safety and quality standards. The ACSQHC leads and coordinates improvements in a number of areas relating to safety and quality in health care across Australia, including through issuing advice and preparation of publications.

This measure is expected to save $15.5 million over four years, of which $9.7 million has already been included in the forward estimates. Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program (Health@Home Plus) — continuation of three current sites

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - -4.9 -6.2 -6.5 -5.7

The Government will achieve savings of $23.2 million over four years from 2012‑13 by continuing to deliver the Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program trial at three current sites located at Cairns, Alice Springs and Dubbo, instead of expanding the trial to the previously planned seven sites. Existing service providers will not be affected by this measure.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Australian Red Cross — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - - - - -

The Government will provide $5.0 million to assist the Australian Red Cross Society to perform its health related work in humanitarian relief and community support in Australia. This extends the 2011‑12 Budget measure titled Australian Red Cross Society — additional funding — extension for a further year.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resources of the Department of Health and Ageing.

Blood and blood products — appropriate and efficient use

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
National Blood Authority - 1.4 1.4 1.3 1.3
Department of Health and Ageing - 0.5 0.5 0.4 0.3
Total - Expense - 1.9 1.9 1.8 1.6

The Government will provide $7.1 million over four years to establish infrastructure and data analysis capabilities for the purpose of identifying and implementing efficiencies in the blood supply chain. This funding will also enable the National Blood Authority (NBA) to continue to meet its obligations under the National Blood Authority Act 2003 and the National Blood Agreement.

The NBA oversees the supply of blood products in Australia at the national level, and promotes the safe, high‑quality management and use of blood products. The NBA is jointly funded by the Australian and the state and territory governments.

Savings arising from this measure are not for publication (nfp) until negotiations with stakeholders on the scope of efficiencies have been finalised.

Council of Australian Governments Diabetes Grants — rationalisation

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing -12.3 - - - -

The Government will reduce funding available in 2011‑12 for the diabetes grant component of the 2007‑08 Budget measure titled COAG — reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. The diabetes grant component is due to cease on 30 June 2012.

The Government will continue to promote the adoption of healthy lifestyles and address the prevalence of lifestyle‑related chronic diseases such as diabetes through major preventative health and primary health care initiatives.

This measure will generate savings of $12.3 million in 2011‑12 that will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Dental health — alleviating pressure on public dental waiting lists

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of the Treasury - 69.2 155.2 119.6 -
Department of Health and Ageing - 0.8 0.6 0.4 -
Total - Expense - 70.0 155.8 120.0 -

The Government will provide $345.9 million over three years to alleviate pressure on public dental waiting lists. A National Partnership agreement will be negotiated with states and territories to provide treatment for an estimated 400,000 adults on public dental waiting lists, including supporting the Indigenous population. The funding will enable states and territories to supplement existing public services, including through the purchase of private dental services if necessary.

This measure forms part of the Government's package of foundational activities to improve the oral health of low income Australians. This package incorporates the Government's commitment to spend $165 million over three years on public dental services, funded by an increase to the Medicare levy surcharge for higher income earners, as announced in the press release of 15 February 2012 issued by the Minister for Health.

In line with the Government's agreement with the Australian Greens the next phase of significant dental reform will be addressed in the 2013‑14 Budget.

See also the related expense measures titled Dental health — increasing the capacity of the dental workforce, Dental health — supporting the delivery of pro bono dental services, Dental health — reallocation of Commonwealth Dental Health Program funding and Dental health — national oral health promotion.

Dental health — increasing the capacity of the dental workforce

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 14.4 51.0 47.3 45.9

The Government will provide $158.6 million over four years to increase the capacity of the dental workforce. Under this measure, the Government will:

  • introduce an Oral Health Therapists (OHT) graduate year program and provide funding for developing curricula, up to 50 OHT places per annum (from 2014), OHT mentors, infrastructure to support the OHT places, and incentive payments at the completion of the program. This element will cost $45.2 million over four years;
  • expand the Voluntary Dental Graduate Year Program by up to 50 additional places by 2016, which will provide support to participating dental graduates through a structured program to enhance practical experience and professional development, particularly in the public sector and areas of need. This element will cost $35.7 million over three years; and
  • fund infrastructure and relocation grants for dentists who relocate their practice to regional, rural or remote areas. This program will provide different levels of incentive payments according to remoteness, and contributions towards dental infrastructure supporting approximately 300 dentists. This element will cost $77.7 million over four years.

This measure forms part of the Government's package of foundational activities to improve the oral health of low‑income Australians.

See also the related expense measures titled Dental health — alleviating pressure on public dental waiting lists, Dental health — supporting the delivery of pro bono dental services, Dental health — reallocation of Commonwealth Dental Health Program funding and Dental health — national oral health promotion activities.

Dental health — national oral health promotion activities

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 0.5 5.0 5.0 -

The Government will provide $10.5 million over three years to deliver national oral health promotion activities in consultation with key dental health organisations. This funding will be used to develop a National Oral Health Promotion Plan in 2012‑13 to guide the implementation of evidenced‑based oral health promotion activities over the following two years.

This measure forms part of the Government's package of foundational activities to improve the oral health of low income Australians.

See also the related measures titled Dental health — alleviating pressure on public dental waiting lists, Dental health — increasing the dental capacity of the dental workforce, Dental health — supporting the delivery of pro bono dental services and Dental health — reallocation of Commonwealth Dental Health Program funding.

Dental health — reallocation of Commonwealth Dental Health Program funding

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - - - - -
Department of the Treasury - -94.3 -96.7 -99.0 -
Total - Expense - -94.3 -96.7 -99.0 -

The Government will not proceed with the Commonwealth Dental Health Program and instead will redirect the existing allocation of $290 million over the forward estimates towards delivering foundational activities to improve oral health including alleviating pressure on public dental waiting lists. It remains Government policy to close the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme as soon as possible.

This measure forms part of the Government's package of foundational activities to improve the oral health of low income Australians.

See also the related expense measures titled Dental health — alleviating pressure on public dental waiting lists, Dental healthincreasing the capacity of the dental workforce, Dental health — supporting the delivery of pro bono dental services and Dental health — national oral health promotion activities.

Dental health — supporting the delivery of pro bono dental services

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 0.2 0.2 0.2 -

The Government will provide $0.5 million over three years to support the delivery of pro bono dental services by oral health professionals.

This funding will assist an organisation with the capability to coordinate the provision of dental services free of charge to priority groups, including concession card holders, Indigenous Australians, the homeless, women and children living in shelters and refugees.

This measure forms part of the Government's package of foundational activities to improve the oral health of low‑income Australians.

See also the related expense measures titled Dental healthalleviating pressure on public dental waiting lists, Dental health — increasing the capacity of the dental workforce, Dental health — reallocation of Commonwealth Dental Health Program funding and Dental health — national oral health promotion activities.

Digital Productivity — Expansion of Telehealth Services through trials

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - - - - -

The Government will provide $22.2 million over three years from 2012‑13 through the National Broadband Network (NBN) Telehealth Pilot Program (the Program) to provide new and innovative in‑home telehealth services to older Australians, people living with cancer and those requiring palliative care. The Program will provide funding to pilot projects, to develop and deliver telehealth services to eligible participants in NBN early roll‑out areas.

Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 22 January 2012 issued by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, the Minister for Health, and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

This measure contributes to the Australian Government's vision for Australia as a world‑leading digital economy by 2020.

Extended Medicare Safety Net — capping benefits including for items with excessive fees

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Human Services .. 0.8 - - -
Department of Health and Ageing - -9.4 -24.9 -29.1 -33.8
Total - Expense .. -8.7 -24.9 -29.1 -33.8

The Government will improve the targeting of the Extended Medicare Safety Net (EMSN), to help manage Medicare expenditure whilst continuing to provide support for people with high out‑of‑pocket costs. This will be achieved by extending EMSN capping rules to a wider range of procedural items and introducing an upper limit on the amount of EMSN benefits payable for all consultation items.

The Medicare items being capped include all consultation items and a range of procedural items, including those where excessive fees are being charged, where there has been excessive growth in EMSN benefits in the past few years, where the EMSN is being used to subsidise items that could be used for cosmetic purposes and where there is a risk that practitioners will shift excessive fees onto other items such as consultation items.

This measure will achieve savings of $96.5 million over four years. Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

General Practice Rural Incentives Program — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 18.2 - - -
Health Workforce Australia - -18.2 - - -
Total - Expense - - - - -

The Government will provide $34.9 million in 2012‑13 to extend the General Practice Rural Incentives Program. The program was established under the 2009‑10 Budget measure titled Rural Health Workforce Strategy and provides relocation and retention incentive payments for medical practitioners to work in rural areas.

The cost of this measure will be met from a redirection of $18.2 million in funding for Health Workforce Australia and $16.7 million from a reallocation of funding from other health workforce capacity programs.

GP Super Clinics program — streamlining

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - -2.7 -13.8 -13.8 -13.8

The Government will remove uncommitted funding for the provision of development, networking and other operational activities. These activities will continue to be undertaken through the Medicare Local Network.

This measure will not impact on the construction of GP Super Clinics or primary care infrastructure grants.

This measure will generate savings of $44.0 million over four years. Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Health and Hospitals Fund — 2011 Regional Priority Round

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of the Treasury - 10.0 43.5 82.8 63.4
Department of Health and Ageing - -33.3 7.2 -11.3 -106.6
Total - Expense - -23.3 50.7 71.5 -43.3

The Government will provide $475.0 million over six years for the delivery of 76 projects through the Health and Hospitals Fund (HHF) 2011 Regional Priority Round.

The HHF aims to expand and modernise key health infrastructure, including hospitals, across Australia to improve health care. This round focuses on rural and regional areas and provides funding for projects such as hospital redevelopment, e‑Health support, mental health, professional training and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. The independent HHF Advisory Board has deemed all of these projects eligible for funding.

See also the related expense measure Health and Hospitals Fund — Regional Priority Round in the 2011‑12 Budget. Funding for the 2011 Regional Priority Round was included in the forward estimates at that time, although the profile has now been amended to reflect the agreement of these projects.

This measure delivers on the Government's agreement with the Member for Lyne and the Member for New England.

Health workforce programs — program improvements

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Health Workforce Australia - - -5.0 -5.0 -5.0
Department of Health and Ageing - - -16.9 -17.9 -18.1
Total - Expense - - -21.9 -22.9 -23.1

The Government will streamline and improve delivery of the Rural Education Infrastructure Development Pool, Health Workforce Australia programs and the Health Workforce Flexible Fund. The streamlined health workforce programs will continue to address workforce shortages by recruiting, retaining and training more doctors, nurses and allied health workers in areas and disciplines where they are needed.

This measure provides savings of $67.9 million over three years, which will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Hepatitis C Litigation Settlement Scheme — continuation

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of the Treasury - 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7
Department of Health and Ageing - - - - -
Total - Expense - 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7

The Government will provide an additional $2.9 million over four years for the Hepatitis C Litigation Settlement Scheme.

This scheme provides a contribution to the out‑of‑court settlement costs for eligible individuals who contracted Hepatitis C as a result of a blood transfusion in Australia between 1985 and 1991.

This measure extends the 2008‑09 Budget measure titled Hepatitis C Litigation Settlement Scheme — continuation.

Increased funding for the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Private Health Insurance Ombudsman - 0.2 0.4 0.4 0.5
Department of Health and Ageing - 0.2 0.4 0.4 0.5

The Government will provide $1.4 million over four years to increase the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman's (PHIO) capacity to manage complaints and respond to consumer enquiries.

The PHIO assists consumers to understand their rights and responsibilities in relation to their private health insurance, as well as providing an independent service for dealing with complaints. The PHIO also plays a role in encouraging insurers to continuously improve their own internal complaints handling procedures.

The cost of this measure will be met through an increase to the levy collected under the Private Health Insurance Complaints Levy Act 1995.

Indigenous health infrastructure — redirection of funding

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - -18.9 -18.8 -18.4 -19.3

The Government will redirect funding from Indigenous health infrastructure projects. The Government will continue to invest in Indigenous Health Infrastructure through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health program and the Health and Hospitals Fund.

The redirection follows additional investments made to Indigenous projects through the Health and Hospitals Fund including the Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co‑operation in Victoria, Apunima Cape York Health Council in Queensland and the Yura Yungi Medical Service redevelopment in Western Australia.

This measure will take effect from 1 July 2012 and will result in savings of $75 million over four years. Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities in Indigenous health.

International multilateral agencies — redirection of funding

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing -4.9 - - - -

The Government will reduce funding under the Department of Health and Ageing's International Policy Engagement Program for participation in international meetings, hosting international delegations and visitors from other countries, and participation in the activities of multilateral agencies.

Funding under this program will still be available to facilitate the Government acting as an effective member of the global community in relation to international health or bilateral regional initiatives.

This measure will generate savings of $4.9 million in 2011‑12, that will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Living Longer. Living Better — addressing workforce pressures

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 1.6 98.8 207.1 332.6
Department of Human Services - 0.2 0.1 .. ..
Department of Veterans' Affairs - - 11.7 24.9 40.1
Total - Expense - 1.8 110.5 232.0 372.8

The Government will provide $1.2 billion over five years from 2012‑13 (including $471.7 million in 2016‑17) to address workforce pressures in aged care. The Government will provide additional funding to aged care providers that take steps to improve their workers' terms and conditions of employment and ensure that these reforms generate better care and services for older Australians.

This will be delivered through a Workforce Compact developed by an independently chaired Advisory Group, in consultation with the sector and endorsed by the Government. The Compact will begin in July 2013 and improve the capacity of the aged care sector to attract and retain staff through higher wages, improved career structures, enhanced training and education opportunities, improved career development and workforce planning and better work practices. Employers will also be expected to contribute to the implementation of the Compact.

This measure is part of the Government's Living Longer. Living Better aged care reform package. Further information can be found in the media release and related material of 20 April 2012 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Living Longer. Living Better — better health care connections

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 8.8 17.7 17.3 17.8

The Government will provide $80.2 million over five years from 2012‑13 (including $18.6 million in 2016‑17) to strengthen the links and continuity of care between aged care and the primary care and hospital systems.

This will be achieved through:

  • providing direct access to specialist palliative care and advance care planning expertise through palliative care advisory services. The Government will also improve palliative care support skills of the aged care workforce through expansion of the Program of Experience in the Palliative Approach to include staff of residential and community aged care services. These reforms are expected to cost of $21.7 million over five years (including $5.3 million in 2016‑17); and
  • enhancing multidisciplinary care and access to primary health care for aged care recipients and encouraging aged care providers to work more closely with health care providers. This measure will provide grants to develop models of service that result in improved access to complex health care services, including palliative and psycho‑geriatric care for aged care recipients. It will provide support for the implementation of innovative ways of delivering health care services, including telehealth trials. These reforms are expected to cost $58.5 million over five years (including $13.3 million in 2016‑17).

This measure is part of the Government's Living Longer. Living Better aged care reform package. Further information on the Better palliative care and support in the aged care system, and Promoting better practice and partnerships initiatives can be found in the press release of 20 April 2012 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Living Longer. Living Better — building a system for the future

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 24.4 25.3 8.5 8.3
Department of Health and Ageing - 15.8 21.8 9.8 13.8

The Government will provide $256.4 million over five years from 2012‑13 (including $36.8 million in 2016‑17) to support continued reform in the aged care system. Of this amount, $123.0 million (including $31.0 million in 2016‑17) has been redirected from funding associated with the One‑Stop Shop initiative.

This will be achieved by:

  • establishing an Aged Care Reform Implementation Council (the Council) to provide advice to the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing on the implementation and development of aged care reform. These arrangements are expected to cost $15.2 million over five years (including $0.6 million in 2016‑17), of which $7.3 million is for information and communications;
  • creating an Aged Care Financing Authority to provide transparent advice to the Australian Government on pricing and financing issues in aged care, including the regulation of fees and additional service charges. This is expected to cost $26.4 million over five years (including $5.4 million in 2016‑17);
  • developing an aged care gateway that will provide a single point of contact to access aged care services. This includes establishing a central My Aged Care website, a call centre and developing a common assessment process for accessing aged care services. In addition, older Australians who are unable to organise their own services with providers, and do not have family or carer support to do so on their behalf, will be assisted by the gateway to access a range of services. This is expected to cost $198.2 million over five years from 2012‑13 (including $29.7 million in 2016‑17); and
  • creating the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency as a single agency responsible for aged care quality assurance and accreditation of both residential and home care services for older Australians. This measure will also support the development of national aged care quality indicators and a rating system, the results of which will be published on the My Aged Care website.

This measure is part of the Governments Living Longer. Living Better aged care reform package. Further information on the Establishing an Aged Care Reform Implementation Council; Aged Care Financing Authority; Building a gateway to aged care services and Greater transparency in the quality of aged care and initiatives can be found in the press release of 20 April 2012 issued by the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Living Longer. Living Better — consumer support and research

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 1.1 8.1 10.5 9.4

The Government will provide $39.8 million over five years (including $10.7 million in 2016‑17) to assist aged care recipients in maintaining links with the community and to enhance the collection and availability of aged care data and information on the characteristics and needs of older Australians.

The Government will:

  • increase funding for the National Aged Care Advocacy Program to assist older Australians to choose, or resolve concerns with, the quality and type of aged care services they receive; expand the Community Visitors Scheme to help socially or culturally isolated people living in Australian Government subsidised aged care homes or receiving home care services remain connected to the community. These initiatives are expected to cost $30.8 million over five years (including $8.9 million in 2016‑17);
  • establish a centralised data clearing house at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare from 1 July 2013; and
  • expand the Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers and allow it to be conducted every three years, rather than every six years, from 2014‑15. This initiative is expected to cost $9.1 million over five years (including $1.8 million in 2016‑17).

This measure is part of the Government's Living Longer. Living Better aged care reform package. Further information on the More support for consumer advocacy and community visitors and Supporting aged care research and evaluation initiatives can be found in the press release of 20 April 2012 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Living Longer. Living Better — improving the Aged Care Funding Instrument

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Human Services 0.3 3.8 0.6 0.6 0.6
Department of Veterans' Affairs - -8.3 -41.7 -56.6 -66.7
Department of Health and Ageing - -45.6 -228.5 -309.3 -366.3
Total - Expense 0.3 -50.1 -269.6 -365.4 -432.5

The Government will refine the Aged Care Funding Instrument to better align the funding claimed by aged care providers with the level of care being offered. This measure will allow $1.6 billion over five years from 2012‑13 (including $479.7 million in 2016‑17) to be redirected to aged care reforms.

Under this measure, the funding instrument for residential aged care services will be modified through the tightening of assessment criteria. The compliance powers of the Department of Health and Ageing in relation to this funding mechanism will also be enhanced.

This measure is part of the Government's Living Longer. Living Better aged care reform package. Further information can be found in the press release and related materials of 20 April 2012 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Living Longer. Living Better — means testing

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Human Services - 20.4 21.7 17.9 17.3
Department of Veterans' Affairs - 0.2 0.8 -8.9 -19.0
Department of Health and Ageing - -8.6 -8.9 -116.4 -211.0
Total - Expense - 11.9 13.6 -107.4 -212.8
Department of Human Services - 22.9 7.9 - -
Department of Veterans' Affairs - 1.8 5.3 - -
Total - Capital - 24.6 13.2 - -

The Government will improve the fairness and sustainability of the aged care system by strengthening means testing arrangements for aged care recipients in residential and home care. This measure will ensure that aged care service recipients contribute to the cost of their care (and accommodation costs for those in residential care) according to their means. This measure is expected to result in savings of $561.0 million over five years (including $304.1 million in 2016‑17) that will be reinvested into the aged care system.

To ensure aged care recipients make an appropriate contribution to the cost of their care, a new income test will be introduced from 1 July 2014 for Home Care packages. Under these arrangements, full pensioners will not pay any income‑tested care fee, while part‑pensioners will contribute up to a maximum of $5,000 a year, and self‑funded retirees up to $10,000 a year, for their care. Care recipients will continue to pay a basic fee of up to 17.5 per cent of the basic age pension. These reforms are expected to result in savings of $183.0 million over five years (including $123.0 million in 2016‑17).

Income and assets tests will be combined from 1 July 2014 to strengthen the means testing arrangements that currently apply to residential care. An annual cap of $25,000 will apply to care contributions in residential care. Care recipients will continue to pay a basic fee, currently up to 84 per cent of the basic age pension. Residents in permanent care in an aged care home as at 30 June 2014 and all respite residents will not be affected by these changes. These reforms are expected to save $378.0 million over five years (including $181.1 million in 2016‑17).

The Government will put in place safeguards to ensure aged care remains affordable and protect care recipients with higher care needs. Aged care recipients will not contribute more than the cost of their care. In addition, a lifetime cap of $60,000 will be applied to both home care and residential care contributions. The lifetime and annual caps will be indexed.

This measure is part of the Government's Living longer. Living better aged‑care reform package. Further information on the Fairer means testing arrangements for Home Care packages and Fairer means testing arrangements for residential aged care initiatives can be found in the media release and related material of 20 April 2012 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Living Longer. Living Better — older Australians from diverse backgrounds

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 6.0 14.5 17.0 19.1
Department of Veterans' Affairs - -0.3 12.9 13.4 14.0
Total - Expense - 5.8 27.4 30.4 33.1
Department of Veterans' Affairs - 0.3 - - -

The Government will provide $192.0 million over five years from 2012‑13 (including $55.2 million in 2016‑17) to improve the skills and knowledge of aged care providers to meet the needs of older Australians from diverse backgrounds. Of this amount, $61.6 million (including $21.6 million in 2016‑17) has been re‑directed from mainstream residential and home care funding.

These reforms will be achieved through:

  • expanding the scope of existing diversity initiatives that improve the skills and knowledge of aged care providers in meeting the care needs of diverse populations, including people living in rural and remote areas, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. These reforms are expected to cost $24.4 million over five years (including $5.8 million in 2016‑17);
  • providing an additional 200 aged care places over four years from 2012‑13 in Indigenous communities under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care program. Funding levels for all existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flexible aged care places (675 places) will also be adjusted annually for frailty levels in addition to indexation adjustments. These reforms are expected to cost $43.1 million over five years (including $12.6 million in 2016‑17);
  • additional funding from 1 July 2013 to deliver more appropriate care for veterans with an accepted mental health condition. These reforms are expected to cost $114.8 million over five years (including $34.7 million in 2016‑17);
  • sensitivity training for the aged care sector that is specific to the needs of older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. These reforms are expected to cost $2.5 million over five years (including $0.5 million in 2016‑17); and
  • expanding the current Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged program to assist the homeless or those at risk of being homeless in regional and remote areas. This program links older people with suitable accommodation and care services so that they can remain in the community. These reforms are expected to cost $7.3 million over five years (including $1.6 million in 2016‑17).

This measure is part of the Government's Living Longer. Living Better aged care reform package. Further information on the Ensuring older people from diverse backgrounds can access aged care services that are specific to their needs; Ensuring culturally appropriate quality aged care services are available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; More support for veterans in Commonwealth Home Care packages and residential aged care; Ensuring sexual diversity does not act as a barrier to receiving high quality aged care; and More assistance for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness initiatives can be found in the press release of 20 April 2012 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Living Longer. Living Better — residential care

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 20.4 23.7 111.3 148.3
Department of Veterans' Affairs - 2.1 2.2 20.1 29.9
Department of Human Services .. 0.1 1.1 1.5 1.4
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs - - - 9.2 25.6
Total - Expense .. 22.6 27.0 142.0 205.2

The Government will provide $660.3 million over five years from 2012‑13 (including $263.4 million 2016‑17) to support the viability of, and capital investment in, residential care facilities and to give residents greater choice of extra services and amenities.

This increased support will be provided through:

  • increasing the maximum rate of the accommodation supplement from $32.58 to $50.00 a day (in current prices) from 1 July 2014 for aged care homes that are newly built or significantly refurbished from 20 April 2012. In addition, all residents entering permanent residential aged care from 1 July 2014 will have the choice to pay for their accommodation through a fully refundable lump sum payment, periodic payments, or a combination thereof. Providers of residential aged care services will also be required to insure any accommodation bonds that they hold for residents entering care on or after 1 July 2014. These reforms are expected to cost $486.9 million over five years (including $212.2 million in 2016‑17);
  • releasing a capped number of aged care places that will allow residents to purchase higher level amenities and hotel‑type services. It will also abolish the Government component of the extra services fee for residents who enter care after 1 July, 2014. These reforms are expected to cost $65.4 million over five years (including $28.7 million in 2016‑17); and
  • continuing the existing viability supplements, to help fund higher delivery costs for providers in regional and rural areas or those providing specialist aged care services, including Indigenous Australians and older people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The Government will also combine its current aged care capital grants programs into a single Rural, Regional and other Special Needs Building Fund to streamline assistance to providers in these areas. These initiatives are expected to cost $108.0 million over five years (including $22.5 million in 2016‑17).

This measure is part of the Government's Living Longer. Living Better aged care reform package. Further information on the Better support to build more residential care facilities; Greater choice and control; and Ensuring the sustainability of aged care services in regional, rural and remote areas initiatives can be found in the press release and related material of 20 April 2012 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Living Longer. Living Better — staying at home

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 1.5 25.7 102.0 121.5
Department of Human Services 0.1 1.0 0.8 1.6 1.7
Department of Veterans' Affairs - - - -5.0 -18.5
Total - Expense 0.1 2.5 26.5 98.6 104.7
Department of Health and Ageing - 0.4 - - -

The Government will provide $955.4 million over five years from 2012‑13 (including $570.0 million in 2016‑17) to assist older Australians in need of care to stay at home. Of this amount, $454.0 million (including $301.2 million in 2016‑17) has been re‑directed from funding previously allocated to residential care.

These reforms will be achieved through:

  • increasing the total number of residential places and home care packages from 113 to 120 places for every 1,000 people aged 70 years or over by 2016 and to 125 places by 2021. The number of home care packages will increase by nearly 40,000 over the next five years. The significant increase in the number of home care packages will, in part, be funded by redirecting some of the new places that would have been allocated for residential aged care under current planning arrangements. From 1 July 2013, the Government will also create two additional funding levels for home care packages to make it easier to match the level of care required to the appropriate package funding level. These reforms are expected to cost $880.1 million over five years (including $531.7 million in 2016‑17); and
  • establishing a national Commonwealth Home Support Program from 1 July 2015, consolidating and providing extra funding for the Home and Community Care (HACC), Day Therapy Centres, National Respite for Carers, and the Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged programs. These reforms are expected to cost $75.3 million over five years (including $38.2 million in 2016‑17).

The Government will also review the types of services delivered through the new Commonwealth Home Support program, including meals on wheels, transport services, home modifications and home maintenance. The review will inform a move to more consistent and equitable service delivery arrangements and more national consistency in the fees people contribute to the cost of these services.

This measure is part of the Government's Living Longer. Living Better aged care reform package. Further information on the More Home Care packages; and Commonwealth Home Support program initiatives can be found in the press release of 20 April 2012 and related material issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Living Longer. Living Better — streamlining and expanding support for carers

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 7.3 12.2 11.5 11.8

The Government will provide $54.8 million over five years from 2012‑13 (including $12.0 million in 2016‑17) to expand access to respite services, increase funding for carer counselling and provide carers with more choice and flexibility in the services they use.

This will be achieved through consolidating respite initiatives into a single program to streamline respite arrangements and establishing a regional network of carer support centres from 1 July 2014. The Government is also providing additional funding for the National Respite for Carers program (NRCP) from 1 July 2012 and incorporating the NRCP into the Commonwealth Home Support program from 1 July 2015.

This measure is part of the Government's Living Longer. Living Better aged care reform package. Further information can be found in the press release and related materials of 20 April 2012 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Living Longer. Living Better — supporting long stay older patients

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - - - - -
Department of the Treasury - -37.5 -37.5 -37.5 -37.5
Total - Expense - -37.5 -37.5 -37.5 -37.5

The Government will redirect $187.5 million over five years from 2012‑13 (including $37.5 million in 2016‑17) from the Long Stay Older Patients program which provides funding for State and Territory governments to improve care for older patients in public hospitals. This National Partnership was due to expire on 30 June 2012. Funding will be redirected to support the aged care reforms.

Services for older patients with long hospital stays will continue to be provided under a separate agreement, the National Partnership Agreement on Financial Assistance for Long Stay Older Patients, which came into effect in December 2011.

This measure is part of the Government's Living Longer. Living Better aged care reform package. Further information can be found in the press release and related material of 20 April 2012 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Living Longer. Living Better — tackling dementia

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 14.8 30.7 28.6 29.3
Department of Human Services - 0.7 - .. -
Total - Expense - 15.5 30.7 28.6 29.3

The Government will provide $268.4 million over five years from 2012‑13 (including $73.7 million in 2016‑17) to tackle dementia. Of this amount, $135.1 million (including $44.6 million in 2016‑17) has been re‑directed by adjusting the eligibility criteria and mechanisms for determining residential and home care funding.

The Government will improve the care of people with dementia through:

  • the introduction of a new 'Very High' behaviour classification within the Aged Care Funding Instrument from 1 July 2013 that will provide additional funding to residential aged care providers caring for residents with severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia at a cost of $41.0 million over five years (including $10.8 million in 2016‑17);
  • an additional supplement to providers of Home Care packages to reflect the higher cost of delivering aged care services to people with dementia at a cost of $123.3 million over five years (including $41.6 million in 2016‑17);
  • expanding the scope of the existing Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Services program into acute and primary care settings, by including dementia in the nursing and medical curricula, and through additional training for General Practitioners and Practice Nurses to specifically address the barriers to timely diagnosis of dementia. These reforms are expected to cost $41.3 million over five years (including $8.0 million in 2016‑17);
  • development and dissemination of nationally agreed principles and protocols for the management of people with dementia admitted to acute care hospital settings, at a cost of $39.2 million over five years (including $8.6 million in 2016‑17); and
  • additional funding to the National Dementia Support Program to support people with younger onset dementia and their families and carers, and the development of best practice guidelines to support the implementation of appropriate models of care, at a cost $23.6 million over five years (including $4.8 million in 2016‑17).

This measure is part of the Government's Living Longer. Living Better aged care package. Further information on Better care for older Australians with behavioural problems associated with severe dementia in residential care; Better care for older Australians with dementia in Home Care packages; Supporting people with dementia across the health system; Improving acute care services for people with dementia; and Improved support for people with younger onset dementia initiatives can be found in the press release of 20 April 2012 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Medicare Benefits Schedule — new and revised listings

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Human Services .. 0.1 0.1 -0.1 -0.2
Department of Veterans' Affairs .. .. -0.1 -0.1 -0.1
Department of Health and Ageing 0.5 -4.5 -11.2 -13.2 -15.1
Total - Expense 0.5 -4.4 -11.2 -13.4 -15.4
Department of Health and Ageing - nfp nfp nfp -

The Government will amend the Medicare Benefits Schedule and Veterans' Benefits for new and revised listings since the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2011‑12, saving $43.9 million over five years.

The amendments to the Medicare Benefits Schedule include the:

  • removal of subsidies for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for the treatment of non‑diabetic chronic wounds, as a result of a recommendation from the Medical Services Advisory Committee;
  • addition of new diagnostic audiology items to allow qualified audiologists to perform particular services, on referral from a specialist;
  • addition of new items for gene testing, to determine whether cancer patients will respond to treatments; and
  • tightening of the provisions for Medicare‑funded diagnostic radiology services to ensure providers meet minimum qualifications.

Further information will be available in the summary of changes included in the Medicare Benefits Schedule issued by the Department of Health and Ageing when the amendments take effect.

Medicare Benefits Schedule — removal of Outer Metropolitan Specialist Trainees' items

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Veterans' Affairs - .. .. .. ..
Department of Health and Ageing - -0.2 -0.2 -0.2 -0.3
Total - Expense - -0.2 -0.2 -0.2 -0.3

The Government will remove redundant items from the Medicare Benefits Schedule for specialist medical trainees based in outer metropolitan hospitals. There will be no impact on medical services as a result of this measure.

These items were originally introduced in 2006 as part of the Outer Metropolitan Specialist Trainee Program, to support medical trainee places in public hospitals. This program has since been integrated into the Specialist Training Program, which provides greater support for medical trainee places by streamlining administrative processes and providing Australian Government funding directly to public teaching hospitals for activities such as clinical supervision.

This measure will generate savings of $0.9 million over four years. Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 16.5 - - -
Department of Human Services 0.4 0.6 - - -
Total - Expense 0.4 17.1 - - -
Department of Human Services .. - - - -

The Government will provide $17.6 million over two years from 2011‑12 to maintain existing service levels for the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program. The program provides coordinated clinical support for people with severe and persistent mental illness through mental health nurses engaged by community‑based general practices, private psychiatric practices and other similar organisations.

Mental health nurses work in collaboration with psychiatrists and general practitioners to provide services such as monitoring a patient's mental state, managing medication and improving links to other health professionals, clinical service providers and non‑clinical support.

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program — expansion

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 0.4 11.9 12.6 22.1
Department of the Treasury - - 0.6 0.6 1.1
Department of Veterans' Affairs - - 0.1 0.1 0.2
Total - Expense - 0.4 12.6 13.3 23.4

The Government will provide $49.7 million over four years to expand the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program to increase the frequency of bowel cancer screening available to all Australians aged between 50 and 74 years.

From 2013, screening will be available for all Australians turning 60 years of age, and from 2015 screening will also be available for all Australians turning 70 years of age. Biennial screening will be progressively phased in, commencing in 2017‑18 starting with Australians aged 72 years. When fully implemented in 2034, the program will provide all Australians aged between 50 and 74 years the opportunity to undergo bowel cancer screening using a Government‑provided faecal occult blood test every two years.

This measure builds on the 2011‑12 Budget measure titled National Bowel Cancer Screening Program — continuation, which provides all Australians aged 50, 55 and 65 years the opportunity to undergo bowel cancer screening using a faecal occult blood test.

National e‑Health Program — continuation

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing 33.4 58.7 90.3 - -
Department of Human Services - 15.2 28.2 - -
Department of Veterans' Affairs - 1.5 1.1 - -
Total - Expense 33.4 75.5 119.6 - -
Department of Veterans' Affairs - 2.1 - - -
Department of Human Services - 1.6 1.4 - -
Total - Capital - 3.8 1.4 - -

The Government will provide $233.7 million over three years to implement the National e‑Health Program.

This funding will ensure that from 1 July 2012, Australians will have the option of registering for a Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) to support more informed clinical assessments and decision‑making, improve continuity of care and introduce efficiencies in health care service delivery. Patients who choose to participate will be able to securely access, and permit their health care providers to access, their health information.

This measure builds on the Government's previous e‑Health investments and includes funding to enable:

  • the National E‑Health Transition Authority to further develop national standards and operate national infrastructure services;
  • the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to provide regulatory oversight of the national e‑Health services; and
  • the Department of Human Services and the Department of Veterans' Affairs to provide support services to PCEHR participants.

To fully realise the significant benefits of this Commonwealth investment, State and Territory governments will need to continue to invest in core health information systems.

National Health and Hospitals Network — Aged care — expand access to multi‑purpose services — cessation

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - -0.4 -0.3 - -
Department of the Treasury -50.0 -35.0 -35.0 - -
Total - Expense -50.0 -35.4 -35.3 - -

The Government will cease funding for the 2010‑11 Budget measure National Health and Hospitals Network — Aged care — expand access to multi‑purpose services. Although announced in the 2010‑11 Budget, negotiations have been protracted and States have not yet agreed to the partnership agreement. Given these delays, the Government has decided to redirect the funding.

The Government has already committed $1.6 billion to the States and Territories to deliver and operate over 1,300 new sub‑acute care beds in hospital and community settings through the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Public Hospital Services.

This measure will provide savings of $120.7 million over three years.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

National Health Call Centre Network — Queensland and Victoria

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - -7.7 -7.9 -8.2 -8.6

The Government will cease provisioning for the operational costs of the Queensland and Victorian components of the National Health Call Centre Network (NHCCN) from 1 July 2012 as these States have not committed to the NHCCN shareholder agreement.

This proposal is expected to generate savings of $32.4 million over four years.

National Health Information Network — redirection of funding

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - -18.1 -18.1 -18.3 -19.1

The Government will redirect funding from the National Health Information Network to support the National e‑Health Program. This measure continues the 2009‑10 Budget measure titled e‑Health programs — further efficiency.

This measure will provide savings of $73.6 million over four years to be redirected to fund the National e‑Health Program and implementation of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record system.

More information on the National e‑Health Program can be found in the related expense measure titled National e‑Health Program — continuation.

National Health Reform Agreement — establishment of the Administrator and the National Health Funding Body

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing 1.2 5.7 4.4 4.4 4.5
Department of Human Services 1.9 3.9 3.6 1.9 2.0
Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman - 0.1 - - -
Total - Expense 3.1 9.7 7.9 6.4 6.5
Department of Human Services 1.2 1.8 1.5 - -

The Government will provide $38.0 million over five years for the establishment and ongoing operation of the Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool (the Administrator) and the National Health Funding Body (the Funding Body).

The Administrator and the Funding Body were established through the Council of Australian Governments' National Health Reform Agreement of August 2011. The Funding Body will assist the Administrator in managing the National Health Funding Pool, which has been established to improve the transparency of public hospital funding.

Further information can be found in the press release of 2 August 2011 issued by the Prime Minister.

National Immunisation Program — extended listing of Prevenar 13®

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of the Treasury - 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3
Department of Health and Ageing - - - - -
Total - Expense - 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3

The Government will provide $1.1 million over four years to extend the listing of Prevenar 13® on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) to a fourth dosage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 12‑18 months of age. Prevenar 13® provides protection against pneumococcal disease. The focus of this measure will be on Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.

Prevenar 13® has replaced Pneumovax 23®, as recommended by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. The fourth dosage of Prevenar 13® was previously administered to eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children under a supplementary program.

This measure supports preventative health by providing the Prevenar 13® vaccine free of charge to eligible consumers through the NIP.

This measure builds on the 2011‑12 Budget measure titled National Immunisation Program — addition of Prevenar 13®.

National Mental Health Reform — Better Access Initiative — continuation

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing -9.3 10.2 -1.0 - -
Department of Human Services 0.1 0.1 - - -
Total - Expense -9.3 10.3 -1.0 - -

The Government will provide $21.0 million to fund additional allied mental health services for patients under the Better Access initiative.

Under current arrangements, patients can access up to ten subsidised mental health services through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).

This measure will allow access to a further six MBS subsidised mental health services for patients who require additional assistance under exceptional circumstances for a transitional period from 1 March 2012 until 31 December 2012. The transitional period will provide sufficient time for new mental health services announced as part of the Government's National Mental Health Reform package to build capacity and effectively respond to people with more complex needs.

The cost of this measure will be met through a reduction in funding of $16.3 million in 2011‑12 from the 2010‑11 Budget measure titled National Health and Hospitals Network — Mental health — flexible care packages for patients with severe mental illnesses and $4.7 million over three years from 2011‑12 from the education and training component of the Better Access initiative.

Further information can be found in the press release of 1 February 2012, issued by the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Papua New Guinea — Staged handover of tuberculosis patients by Queensland Health

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of the Treasury - 0.9 .. - -
Department of Health and Ageing - - - - -
Total - Expense - 0.9 .. - -

The Government will provide $0.9 million to continue the safe and ethical transfer of Papua New Guinean tuberculosis (TB) patients to their own health system.

This additional funding will assist the Queensland Government to continue to treat Papua New Guinea (PNG) nationals with TB who present at clinics in the Torres Strait, while the capacity to treat these patients is progressively strengthened in the South Fly District of PNG through AusAID investments.

This funding is in addition to that provided to the Queensland Government in the 2009‑10 Budget measure titled National Partnership Agreement — Queensland compensation for health care treatment provided to Papua New Guinean nationals.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme — funding for legal action seeking compensation

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing nfp nfp - - -

The Government will provide funding in 2011‑12 and 2012‑13 to the Department of Health and Ageing to seek to recover compensation from pharmaceutical companies. This compensation relates to losses incurred by the Government as a result of delays in the listing of generic forms of medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

The first entry of a new brand results in a statutory price reduction being applied to the original and generic brands of the medicine on the PBS. In some cases, it appears that statutory price reductions and the introduction of generic forms of the medicine may have been delayed resulting in possible additional cost to Government.

For further information see the 2010‑11 Budget measure titled Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme — further pricing reform.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme — new and amended listings

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Veterans' Affairs .. 0.2 0.9 2.6 4.3
Department of Human Services .. .. .. .. ..
Department of Health and Ageing -1.4 -9.0 1.3 23.8 49.5
Total - Expense -1.4 -8.9 2.2 26.4 53.8
Department of Health and Ageing nfp nfp nfp nfp nfp

The Government has agreed to a number of new and amended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS), at a cost of $72.1 million over five years.

Listings and amendments include:

  • Orencia® (abatacept), for the treatment of severe active rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Sprycel® (dasatinib) and Tasigna® (nilotinib), for the first‑line treatment of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia;
  • Flolan® (epoprostenol sodium) for the treatment of patients with high blood pressure; and
  • Brilinta® (ticagrelor) for the treatment of myocardial infarction or unstable angina.

General consumers will continue to pay a $35.40 co‑payment per prescription and concession card holders will pay a $5.80 co‑payment per prescription.

Pricing agreements negotiated between the Government and the pharmaceutical manufacturers reduce the costs to Government of some of these medicines.

Further information can be found in the press release of 21 February 2012 issued by the Minister for Health.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme — price changes

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Veterans' Affairs -0.2 -1.2 -1.0 -1.0 -1.0
Department of Health and Ageing -3.4 -24.8 -23.3 -24.0 -24.7
Total - Expense -3.6 -25.9 -24.4 -25.0 -25.7

The Government has agreed to a number of price amendments to medicines already listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS), at a net saving of $104.6 million over five years.

A price reduction has been applied to the therapeutic group of medicines used for the treatment of high blood pressure, angiotensin II receptor antagonist (ATRA). This group includes:

  • Atacand® (candesartan cilexetil);
  • Teveten® (eprosartan mesylate);
  • Olmetec® (olmesartan medoxomil);
  • Micardis® (telmisartan); and
  • Diovan® (valsartan).

There have also been a number of price increases, including:

  • Zofran Syrup® (ondansetron syrup), for the prevention and treatment of nausea and vomiting during cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy;
  • Barbloc 5® (pindolol tablet 5mg), for the treatment of high blood pressure; and
  • Hysone (hydrocortisone tablets), for the treatment of Addison's disease — a rare condition of the adrenal glands.

Further information can be found in the press release of 21 February 2012 issued by the Minister for Health.

Poly Implant Prothèse breast implants — Medicare rebates

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing 2.7 1.0 - - -
Department of Human Services .. .. - - -
Total - Expense 2.7 1.0 - - -

The Government will provide $3.7 million in 2011‑12 and 2012‑13 to allow women to access Medicare rebates for breast Magnetic Resonance Images (MRIs), to evaluate the integrity of breast implants manufactured by the French company Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP).

PIP implants were recalled from the Australian market in April 2010 following advice from the French regulator Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé (AFSSAPS).

Further information can be found in the press release of 10 March 2012 issued by the Minister for Health.

Practice Incentives Program (PIP) — more effective targeting

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Human Services - 2.1 0.1 - -
Department of Health and Ageing - -3.2 -31.0 -26.5 -24.9
Total - Expense - -1.1 -30.9 -26.5 -24.9

The Government will improve the efficiency of the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) by more effectively targeting incentives to medical practitioners.

The Government will:

  • include a requirement for general practices to participate in the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record System to receive the eHealth PIP incentive;
  • increase the targets for general practices to receive incentives for the PIP Cervical Screening Incentive, from 65 per cent to 70 per cent of eligible female patients;
  • increase the targets for general practices to receive incentives for the PIP Diabetes Incentive, from 40 per cent to 50 per cent of eligible diabetics; and
  • discontinue the GP Immunisation Incentives Scheme, in light of requirements introduced on FTB A supplements in the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2011‑12.

This measure will provide net savings of $83.5 million over four years.

Private health insurance — review of rebate for 'natural therapies'

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 1.0 nfp nfp nfp

The Government will undertake a review of the private health insurance rebate for natural therapies. The review, which will be overseen by the Chief Medical Officer, will examine the evidence of clinical efficacy, cost effectiveness and safety and quality of these natural therapies.

Following the completion of the review, the Government will introduce through regulation a list of natural therapies that will continue to receive the private health insurance rebate. Natural therapy treatments not included on this list will no longer be eligible for the rebate.

Funding of $1.0 million will be provided to the Department of Health and Ageing in 2012‑13 to undertake the review. The savings for this measure are not for publication (nfp) until the completion of the review.

Private Health Insurance Premiums and Competition Unit — establishment

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Private Health Insurance Administration Council - 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
Department of Health and Ageing - - - - -
Total - Expense - 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
Department of Health and Ageing - 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
Total - Revenue - 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
Private Health Insurance Administration Council - .. - - -
Total - Capital - .. - - -

The Government will provide $2.3 million over four years to the Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC) to establish the Private Health Insurance Premiums and Competition Unit (PACU).

The PACU will improve the advice provided to the Government on private health insurance industry pricing, industry cost drivers and insurance premiums. It will also enhance the capacity of PHIAC to encourage competition within the private health insurance industry for the benefit of consumers.

The cost of this measure will be met through an increase to the levy collected under the Private Health Insurance (Council Administration Levy) Rules 2007.

Prostheses list — removal of joint replacement prostheses with unacceptably high revision rates

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 0.1 -1.7 -1.9 -2.1
Department of Health and Ageing - 0.1 0.1 .. ..

The Government will remove joint replacement prostheses with evidence of higher than acceptable revision rates from the Prostheses List, so that private health insurers are no longer required to pay benefits for those prosthetics.

There are more than 9,000 surgically implanted prosthetic devices on the Prostheses List, including hip and knee replacements. Private health insurers are required to pay a mandatory benefit for each item on the Prostheses List where a Medicare benefit is payable for the associated surgery in a hospital or hospital substitute.

Joint replacement prostheses with high revision rates need to be replaced more frequently than comparable products, resulting in poor outcomes for patients and higher costs to insurers and the health system.

This measure will provide savings of $5.8 million over four years. Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy — implementation of recommendations

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 2.7 0.9 0.2 ..

The Government will provide $3.9 million over four years to implement initiatives responding to recommendations from the Review of Food Labelling Law and Policy.

These initiatives support the Government's commitment to refocus the health system towards prevention, including by developing a comprehensive National Nutrition Policy. This measure also includes funding for awareness and education activities, consumer and economic research activities, and the development and implementation of an interpretative front‑of‑pack labelling system.

Stoma Appliance Scheme — improved program management and access to products

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - -0.9 -2.5 -4.5 -6.4

The Government will improve the management of the Stoma Appliance Scheme, continue the Stoma Product Assessment Panel and introduce periodic pricing reviews from 2014‑15. The cost of these improvements will be met through the cessation of automatic indexation for products on the scheme, resulting in a net saving of $14.4 million over four years.

These changes were identified by the review of the scheme as part of the 2009‑10 Budget, which recommended changes to the administrative arrangements of the scheme, while ensuring that consumers continue to have subsidised access to a range of products.

The Stoma Appliance Scheme assists eligible people to better manage their condition by providing subsidised access to stoma‑related products, such as pouches, skin protectors, flow filters and creams.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

See also related expense measure titled Stoma Appliance Scheme — implementing a new program framework in the 2009‑10 Budget.

Streamlining and Enhancing Lead Clinicians Groups

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing -14.5 -11.6 -11.6 -11.6 -11.6

The Government will enhance the role of the National Lead Clinicians Group through the establishment of a National Collaborative Clinicians Network. The network will promote clinical leadership and multidisciplinary models of integrated care and engage clinicians across Australia in health reform, providing opportunities for clinicians to identify, inform and deliver service improvements. The Australian Medicare Local Network will be provided with $3.4 million over four years to work with Medicare Locals to enhance clinical leadership and engagement across health settings.

At the same time the Government will streamline program management and better use available resources working within existing state structures and not proceed with funding for the Local Lead Clinicians Group component of the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2010‑11 measure titled National Health and Hospitals Network — lead clinicians groups.

This measure will provide savings of $60.7 million over five years from 2011‑12. Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities.

Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory — Health

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 49.4 nfp nfp nfp
Department of the Treasury - 9.1 nfp nfp nfp
Total - Expense - 58.5 nfp nfp nfp

The Government will provide $254.4 million over four years ($713.5 million over ten years) for the continued delivery of specialist and allied health services to Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory, including:

  • primary health care services;
  • primary health care reform, to establish regional health boards with strong local leadership and support;
  • specialist and allied health services for conditions of very high disease burden — oral health, hearing health, substance misuse, social and emotional wellbeing and therapeutic services for children; and
  • skilled medical practitioners through the Remote Area Health Corps to meet workforce shortages in remote locations.

A portion of the total funding for the measure will be administered by the Department of the Treasury through the Federal Financial Relations Framework.

This measure is part of the Government's Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory package. The expenditure for this measure is not for publication (nfp) from 2013—14 as it is subject to negotiation with the Northern Territory Government.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 29 March 2012 issued by the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Minister for Indigenous Health, and the Senator for the Northern Territory, Senator Trish Crossin.

Telehealth — redirection of funding

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Human Services 0.1 0.8 0.3 .. -
Department of Veterans' Affairs - -0.1 -0.3 -0.5 -0.6
Department of Health and Ageing - -3.7 -29.5 -74.1 -76.3
Total - Expense 0.1 -3.1 -29.5 -74.6 -76.8

The Government will better target incentives and payments to encourage early adoption of telehealth initiatives to ensure that they are targeted towards meeting the Government's e‑Health priorities.

The Government will cease funding for the Telehealth Support Initiative, which was introduced as part of the measure titled Connecting Health Services to the Future in the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2010‑11, from 1 July 2013. The Government will also restructure telehealth incentives for medical practitioners to supply telehealth services, and cease funding for these incentives from 1 July 2014.

In addition, the Government will introduce minimum distance requirements for telehealth consultations. These rules will focus services toward those patients without close access to specialists, and ensure more effective usage and distribution of these services.

This measure will generate savings of $183.9 million over five years, which will be reinvested in the related expense measure titled National e‑Health Program‑continuation.

Therapeutic goods — strengthening codes of conduct and transparency in industry promotion of therapeutic goods

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4

The Government will provide $1.4 million over four years to strengthen the therapeutic industry's codes of conduct for the promotion of therapeutic goods.

This measure will increase the effectiveness of self‑regulated codes of conduct through: developing a standardised framework of high level principles; improving access to information, education and training; and enhancing complaints reporting and handling processes.

This measure responds to recommendations by the Working Group on Promotion of Therapeutic Products, released on 18 March 2011.

Tobacco plain packaging — compliance

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing - 3.1 - - -

The Government will provide $3.1 million in 2012‑13 for compliance and enforcement activities associated with tobacco plain packaging legislation.

Compliance activities will include a communications campaign to raise awareness among retailers of their responsibilities under the legislation, while enforcement activities will include inspections of general retail outlets such as supermarkets, and specialist outlets such as tobacconists and wholesalers.

Tobacco plain packaging — litigation

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Health and Ageing nfp nfp nfp nfp nfp

The Government will provide funding to defend domestic and international legal campaigns initiated by tobacco companies against the Government's tobacco plain packaging legislation and graphic health warnings. The legislation commenced on 1 December 2011.

The expenditure for this measure is not for publication (nfp) to protect the Australian Government's position in any litigation initiated by the tobacco companies.

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