Australian Government, 2013-14 Budget
Budget

Part 2: Expense Measures (Continued)

Health and Ageing

Acute rheumatic fever vaccine — research

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
National Health and Medical Research Council 0.6 0.8

The Government will contribute $1.4 million over two years towards preliminary research into the development of a vaccine to prevent acute rheumatic fever. This initiative is a collaboration between the Governments of Australia and New Zealand, with both countries providing equal funding.

Acute rheumatic fever is particularly prevalent among Aboriginal, Maori, and Torres Strait and Pacific Islander peoples.

Further information can be found in the joint statement of 9 February 2013 issued by the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand.

Advancing Payments to the States and Territories

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing
Department of the Treasury
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Total — Expense

The Government will bring forward certain payments to the states and territories of approximately $148.7 million from 2013‑14 to 2012‑13 to reflect changes agreed with Western Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. The National Partnership Agreements (NPA) affected are: the NPA on Essential Vaccines, the NPA on Preventative Health, the NPA on Financial Assistance for Long Stay Older Patients, and the NPA on Certain Concessions for Pension Concessions Card and Seniors Card Holders.

These cash movements do not impact on the fiscal balance.

Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency — continuation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing nfp nfp nfp nfp
Department of Health and Ageing nfp nfp nfp nfp

The Government will continue to fund the staged implementation of the Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency. When fully established the joint agency will take over responsibility for regulating medicines, medical devices and other therapeutic goods in Australia and New Zealand from Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration and the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority.

This measure builds on the 2012‑13 Budget measure titled Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency.

The expenditure for this measure is not for publication due to ongoing negotiations with the New Zealand Government.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare — development and measurement of updated key performance indicators

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

The Government will provide $3.0 million over two years to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) to develop, revise and measure several key performance indicators specified in Council of Australian Governments (COAG) reviews of the National Healthcare Agreement and the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness.

The AIHW will work with stakeholders to develop a method for accurately measuring key performance indicators for approval by COAG.

Funding for this measure will be met from within the existing resources of the AIHW.

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency — improving Australia's capacity to deliver effective radiation protection and nuclear safety

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3
Department of Health and Ageing 0.1
Total — Expense 1.4 1.3 1.3 1.3
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.3
Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency 2.5

The Government will provide $7.8 million over four years (including capital funding of $2.5 million in 2013‑14) to enhance the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency's (ARPANSA) capacity to issue new licences and undertake compliance activities, and upgrade its facilities at Yallambie in Victoria to address workplace health and safety issues. The proposal will strengthen Australia's radiation protection and nuclear safety regulatory arrangements by addressing issues identified in the 2012 Review of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998.

Costs of $5.1 million over four years associated with this measure will be recovered from revised licensing fees for facility and process testing conducted by ARPANSA.

Australian Red Cross — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
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 2012‑13 Budget measure titled Australian Red Cross — additional funding for a further year.

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

Canberra Hospital — dedicated paediatric emergency care

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of the Treasury 5.0
Department of Health and Ageing
Total — Expense 5.0

The Government will contribute $5.0 million to the Australian Capital Territory in 2014‑15 towards the development of a dedicated service for children within the Emergency Department of the Canberra Hospital. This will help streamline and better coordinate paediatric emergency and inpatient services for around 15,000 children per year.

The ACT Government will contribute the remaining establishment costs and fund the recurrent resourcing requirements for this initiative.

Extended Medicare Safety Net — increasing the general threshold

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 0.1 ‑8.4 ‑48.5 ‑49.4
Department of Human Services 0.6
Total — Expense 0.1 ‑7.8 ‑48.5 ‑49.4

The Government will improve the sustainability of the Extended Medicare Safety Net (EMSN) by increasing the general threshold to $2,000 from 1 January 2015. The general threshold, which is indexed by the Consumer Price Index on 1 January each year, is currently $1,221.90. The concessional threshold of $610.70, which applies for Commonwealth concession cardholders and people who receive Family Tax Benefit Part A, will not change under this measure. This measure will result in savings of $105.6 million over four years.

The EMSN provides an additional rebate for Australian families and singles who incur out of pocket costs for Medicare eligible out of hospital services. Once the annual thresholds have been met in a calendar year, Medicare will pay the lower of 80 per cent of any subsequent out of pocket costs or the benefit cap for out of hospital Medicare services for the remainder of that year.

Female genital mutilation — education and awareness

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing

The Government will provide $0.5 million in grants in 2012‑13 to organisations to undertake education and awareness activities regarding female genital mutilation and to support change within communities.

The Government will also review Australia's legal framework to determine if any changes are required to ensure full protection against the practice both in Australia and abroad and will undertake new research and collect data to build the evidence needed to support women and girls affected by female genital mutilation.

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

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 11 December 2012 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Health.

General Practice Rural Incentives Program — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 20.0

The Government will provide $33.8 million in 2013‑14 to continue to support the General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) which provides relocation and retention incentive payments to encourage medical practitioners to work in rural, regional and remote areas.

The GPRIP was introduced in the 2009‑10 Budget measure Rural Health Workforce Strategy and received additional funding through the 2012‑13 Budget measure General Practice Rural Incentives Program—additional funding.

The cost of this measure will be met by redirecting $20.0 million in funding from Health Workforce Australia and $13.8 million will be absorbed from within other health workforce capacity programs administered by the Department of Health and Ageing.

See also the related expense measure titled Health Workforce Australia—rationalisation.

Health and Hospitals Fund — Katherine and Gove District Hospitals — not proceed with funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing
Department of the Treasury ‑3.4 ‑5.9 ‑1.5
Total — Expense ‑3.4 ‑5.9 ‑1.5

Following a decision by the Northern Territory Government to withdraw its support for these projects, the Government will not proceed with funding for two projects to provide short term patient accommodation at Katherine Hospital and Gove District Hospital in the Northern Territory. Funding for the projects was announced as part of the Health and Hospitals Fund 2010 Regional Priority Round in the 2011‑12 Budget.

Savings from this measure of $10.8 million over three years will be returned to the Health and Hospitals Fund.

Health program funding — better targeting

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.2
National Blood Authority ‑0.3 ‑10.4 ‑20.9 ‑29.0
Independent Hospital Pricing Authority ‑0.6 ‑0.6 ‑0.6 ‑0.6
Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care ‑4.1 ‑5.0 ‑4.0
Total — Expense ‑4.5 ‑15.6 ‑25.2 ‑29.5
National Blood Authority ‑0.1 ‑3.9 ‑7.7 ‑10.7

The Government will achieve savings through:

  • more efficient and effective use of blood and blood products, addressing the issue of antimicrobial resistance, and reducing variation of clinical practice to achieve savings of $47.2 million over four years;
  • more effective targeting of the Health Protection Fund achieving savings of $2.0 million over four years;
  • reducing funding for consultancy services for the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA) achieving savings of $2.5 million over four years; and
  • reducing the administrative costs of the Continence Aids Payment Scheme (CAPS). This will achieve savings of $0.6 million over four years.

Health Workforce — continuation of workforce redesign program

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing

The Government will provide $6.0 million in 2013‑14 to continue to implement and evaluate health workforce reforms and workforce redesign activities, support improved productivity and strengthen the sustainability of the health system under the Workforce Redesign Program.

The Workforce Redesign Program seeks to address shortages and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health workforce by developing, implementing and evaluating innovative pilot projects and training health workers to enhance workforce capability.

This is a component of the National Partnership Agreement on Hospital and Health Workforce Reform.

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

Health Workforce Australia — rationalisation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing ‑20.0 ‑20.0 ‑20.0 ‑20.0

The Government will realise efficiencies by reprioritising programs in Health Workforce Australia (HWA) from 2013‑14 saving $80.0 million over four years. HWA will have the flexibility to achieve the savings across their administrative funding and programs to minimise the impact on individual programs and ensure the Government's key health workforce objectives continue to be met.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to support other Government priorities, including the General Practice Rural Incentives Program.

See also the related expense measure titled General Practice Rural Incentives Program — additional funding.

Healthy Kids Check — redirection of promotional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing
Department of the Treasury ‑2.0 ‑2.0 ‑2.0 ‑2.0 ‑2.1
Total — Expense ‑2.0 ‑2.0 ‑2.0 ‑2.0 ‑2.1

The Government will conclude funding provided to the states and territories for the promotional activities associated with health assessments for four year old children. This funding was provided from 1 July 2008 as a transitional arrangement to encourage uptake of the checks under the Healthy Kids Check initiative. This transition is now complete with high rates of take‑up. This measure will not reduce funding for child health checks, which will continue to be funded through the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

High risk implantable devices — establishment of a national patient register

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 3.6 3.0 2.9 2.7
Department of Health and Ageing 1.4 2.9 2.7

The Government will provide $12.1 million over four years to establish a national patient contact register for implantable devices, and two clinical quality registers for breast implants and cardiac devices.

The national patient contact register will ensure that patients with a high risk implantable device are contactable in the event of a serious safety risk associated with their device. This will involve establishing nationally consistent data requirements, unique device identifiers and standard labelling for implantable devices, and a national protocol for rapid patient identification and notification.

The two clinical quality registers for breast implants and cardiac devices will provide information on performance of these devices over time.

From 1 July 2014 the operating costs of the patient contact arrangements will be recovered from the medical devices industry through the Therapeutic Goods Administration in accordance with the Commonwealth Cost Recovery Guidelines. The operating costs of the two clinical quality registers will be recovered from 1 July 2015.

Improving trachoma control for Indigenous Australians — continuation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing
Department of the Treasury
Total — Expense

The Government will provide $16.5 million over four years from 2013‑14 to continue activities to reduce the incidence of trachoma and improve eye health for about 20,000 Indigenous Australians in up to 160 remote Indigenous communities across Australia.

Activities will include regular screening of at‑risk communities and appropriate treatment of infected individuals, promotion of facial cleanliness to reduce infection, surgery for people with trichiasis (blinding trachoma), and collection and reporting of data.

These activities build on the 2009‑10 Budget measure titled Closing the Gap — improving eye and ear health services for Indigenous Australians.

These activities are provided for under Project Agreements on Improving Trachoma Control Services for Indigenous Australians which expire on 30 June 2013. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

International Health Professionals Program — continuation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing

The Government will provide $15.0 million in 2013‑14 to continue funding the International Health Professionals Program which supports a coordinated national approach to the recruitment of international health professionals by streamlining pathways for registration and practice, and maintaining efforts to improve the distribution of health professionals to rural and remote areas.

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

Living Longer. Living Better — addressing workforce pressures — aged care workforce supplement

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Veterans' Affairs 4.6 5.8 8.3 10.0
Department of Health and Ageing ‑7.3 ‑16.7 ‑28.6 ‑37.8
Total — Expense ‑2.7 ‑10.9 ‑20.2 ‑27.8
Department of Veterans' Affairs 1.5

The Government will amend the eligibility for the aged care workforce supplement to exclude aged care providers whose employees are paid under state and territory awards or agreements and to broaden eligibility to include the service providers for the Veterans' Home Care and Community Nursing programs, which are administered within the Veterans' Affairs portfolio.

This amends the 2012‑13 Budget measure Living Longer. Living Better — addressing workforce pressures. The aged care workforce supplement was introduced to assist aged care providers to retain and attract skilled employees to the sector.

Living Longer. Living Better — residential care — accommodation bonds insurance

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing

In response to provider concerns raised during consultations, the Government will defer implementation of the requirement for providers of residential aged care to insure any accommodation bonds they hold for residents entering care on or after 1 July 2014. This requirement was announced as part of the Living Longer. Living Better package in the 2012‑13 Budget. However, while negotiations continue with providers and the insurance industry, the Government will continue to guarantee all bonds under the Guarantee Scheme established in the Aged Care (Bond Security) Act 2006 and Aged Care (Bond Security) Levy Act 2006. If a provider becomes insolvent or bankrupt and is unable to repay outstanding bond balances to aged care residents, the Australian Government will repay the balance owing to each resident.

This measure extends an existing contingent liability and has no impact on the fiscal balance.

Living Longer. Living Better — staying at home — improvements

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 0.8 ‑0.4 ‑0.8 ..
Department of Human Services 0.1 0.3
Total — Expense 0.1 1.0 ‑0.4 ‑0.8 ..

The Government will make changes to improve Home Care for care recipients by aligning leave provisions across all levels of Home Care packages and providing oxygen and enteral feeding supplements to all care recipients who have a clinical need. This measure will also ensure that there is no reduction in funding for existing recipients of Community Aged Care packages or Extended Aged Care at Home packages when the dementia supplement is introduced, and will provide a new top‑up supplement for existing Extended Aged Care at Home Dementia recipients.

This measure builds on the 2012‑13 Budget measure Living Longer. Living Better — staying at home.

Living Organ Donors — supporting leave

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 0.5 1.2 1.0

The Government will provide $2.6 million over three years to help alleviate the financial stress that can be experienced by living organ donors by providing funding to employers to enable employees to take sufficient leave to donate an organ and to recover from the donation. This measure will support approximately 200 living organ donors each year.

The payment to employers would be up to the national minimum wage for up to six weeks. Employers will also be able to apply for a part‑payment where their employee has attended preliminary appointments but the donation does not proceed for medical reasons. Payment to employers in this case would be for up to two weeks at up to the national minimum wage.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 7 April 2013 issued by the Minister for Health and the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing.

Medicare — communications campaign

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 6.5 3.5

The Government will provide $10.0 million over two years to deliver a national communications campaign to inform Australians about the benefits of Medicare and health‑related services, including Medicare Locals, Medicare rebates and safety nets, and to provide information to assist consumers to access these services including the e‑Health Record system, Medicare point of care electronic claiming and the after hours GP helpline.

This will fund a national information campaign, information products and a website to provide detailed information to consumers and health professionals about the affordability and accessibility of the Australian healthcare system.

Medicare Benefits Schedule — comprehensive management framework

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 9.8 9.8

The Government will provide $19.6 million over two years for the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) to review the quality, safety and cost effectiveness of existing items listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule, and examine the evidence for proposed new medical technologies and procedures.

MSAC provides advice to the Minister for Health which informs Government decisions about public funding for new and existing medical technologies and procedures.

Medicare Benefits Schedule — new listings

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Veterans' Affairs .. .. .. .. ..
Department of Health and Ageing ‑0.1 ‑0.4 ‑0.4 ‑0.3 ‑0.3
Total — Expense ‑0.1 ‑0.4 ‑0.4 ‑0.3 ‑0.3

The Government will achieve savings of $1.5 million over five years by amending the Medicare Benefits Schedule and Veterans' Benefits for new listings since the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2012‑13. The new listings include the use of colonic stents as a better and safer alternative to open surgical techniques in the treatment of some cancers.

Further information is available in the summary of changes included in the Medicare Benefits Schedule issued by the Department of Health and Ageing on 1 March 2013.

Medicare Benefits Schedule — realigning indexation with the financial year

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Human Services .. ..
Department of Veterans' Affairs ‑7.7 ‑6.9 ‑10.8 ‑14.3
Department of Health and Ageing ‑152.2 ‑146.4 ‑162.7 ‑163.3
Total — Expense ‑159.9 ‑153.3 ‑173.6 ‑177.6

The Government will realign the indexation of Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fees to the financial year in line with many other Government programs. MBS fees, which are currently indexed on 1 November each year, will be indexed on 1 July each year. The next indexation date will be 1 July 2014. This measure will result in savings of $664.4 million over four years.

Medicare Benefits Schedule — remove out‑of‑hospital Medicare rebate for selected items

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing
Department of Human Services
Total — Expense

The Government has removed the out‑of‑hospital rebate for selected Medicare Benefits Schedule items from 1 March 2013, to address safety and quality concerns with the previous arrangements.

The rebate was removed for procedures that should be provided in a hospital setting. These items include intensive care unit services, anaesthetics services, and certain cosmetic procedures.

This measure will generate savings of $10.7 million over five years. These savings were included as a 'decision taken but not yet announced' in the 2012‑13 Budget.

Medicare Benefits Schedule — removing double billing

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 0.2 ‑24.2 ‑42.3 ‑47.2
Department of Human Services ‑0.4 ‑0.8 ‑0.9
Department of Veterans' Affairs ‑0.8 ‑1.5 ‑1.6
Total — Expense 0.2 ‑25.4 ‑44.6 ‑49.8

The Government will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Medicare by preventing duplication in General Practitioners (GPs) claiming a Medicare rebate for a GP standard consultation item and a GP Chronic Disease Management item for the same patient on the same day, effective from 1 November 2014. This measure will enable the Government to improve the management of Medicare expenditure whilst continuing to provide health care for patients with chronic medical conditions.

This measure will result in savings of $119.6 million over four years.

Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 23.2
Department of Human Services 0.5
Total — Expense 23.8

The Government will provide $23.8 million in 2013‑14 to maintain existing service levels for the Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program which provides coordinated support for people with severe and persistent mental illness. This funding will enable mental health nurses, who are engaged by community‑based general practices, private psychiatric practices and other similar organisations, to continue to provide clinically relevant services to approximately 60,000 patients.

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.

Mosquito control and cross border liaison in the Torres Strait — continuation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing
Department of the Treasury
Total — Expense

The Government will provide $3.9 million over four years from 2013‑14 to continue mosquito detection, control and elimination activities in the Torres Strait as well as information and data sharing with Papua New Guinea regarding communicable diseases which may arise from cross border movements in the Torres Strait Treaty Zone.

These activities are designed to combat the risks of diseases such as dengue fever and tuberculosis entering Australia, and to enhance health‑related services for Torres Strait Islanders.

This is a component of the National Partnership Agreement on Health Services. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

National Health Information Network

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing ‑5.9 ‑25.4

The Government will achieve savings of $31.2 million over two years by ceasing funding for the National Health Information Network (NHIN) from 1 July 2015. The NHIN was established in 2004 and preceded the implementation of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) system. Functions of the NHIN, such as creation and storage of electronic health records and other health information, are now being managed through the PCEHR as part of the National e‑Health Program.

This measure extends the 2012‑13 Budget measure titled National Health Information Network — redirection of funding.

National Perinatal Depression Initiative — continuation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Department of the Treasury ‑0.5 ‑0.5 ‑0.5 ‑0.5
Total — Expense

The Government will provide $37.4 million over four years to continue the National Perinatal Depression Initiative to improve prevention and early detection of antenatal and postnatal depression and provide better support and treatment for expectant and new mothers experiencing depression.

State and Territory governments will be provided $35.4 million to enable mothers to be screened for depression before and after pregnancy, provide training for health professionals, improve follow up support and care for women assessed as at risk, and continue research and data collection.

Beyondblue will be provided $2.0 million to continue to support the implementation of the National Perinatal Depression Initiative.

The Government will also seek a contribution of $35.0 million toward this program from State and Territory Governments.

This is an existing component of the National Partnership Agreement on Health Services.

Provision for the continuation of this initiative has already been included in the forward estimates.

National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program — prioritising remote areas and Indigenous communities

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing ‑5.0 ‑5.0 ‑5.0 ‑5.0

The Government will prioritise future grant rounds of the National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Program (NRRHIP) to focus on applications for projects targeting remote and very remote geographic areas or Indigenous communities. The NRRHIP is a competitive grants program that improves access to health services by providing funding for new and existing health services to acquire or upgrade buildings and equipment upgrades.

Office of the Gene Technology Regulator — introduction of cost recovery services

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 0.4

The Government will provide $0.4 million in 2013‑14 to investigate and develop an appropriate cost recovery model for the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator.

The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator is responsible for regulating gene technology, including licensing the use of genetically modified organisms, to safeguard human health and protect the environment.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme — additional funding for further pricing reform

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing
Department of Human Services 2.5
Total — Expense 2.5
Department of Human Services 0.9
Department of Health and Ageing
Total — Capital 0.9

The Government provided an additional $4.5 million (including $1.4 million for capital costs) in 2012‑13 for activities associated with the introduction of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme's Expanded and Accelerated Price Disclosure reforms. Further information on these reforms can be found in the 2010‑11 Budget measure titled Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme — further pricing reform.

Funding of $1.1 million (including $0.5 million for capital costs) for the Department of Health and Ageing was included as a 'decision taken but not yet announced' in the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2012‑13.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme — Management and Mitigation of Legal Challenges

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing nfp nfp nfp nfp

The Government will provide funding over four years to enable the Department of Health and Ageing to mitigate and respond to the risk of legal challenges in relation to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The ongoing implementation of the Government's pricing policies such as price disclosure, reference pricing and post market reviews contribute to the financial sustainability of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The expenditure for this measure is not for publication to protect the Australian Government's position in any potential litigation.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme — new and amended listings

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 34.5 143.8 155.2 170.9 187.3
Department of Human Services 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.4
Department of Veterans' Affairs ‑0.5 ‑1.5 ‑1.5 ‑1.5 ‑1.5
Total — Expense 34.2 142.6 154.0 169.7 186.1
Department of Health and Ageing nfp nfp nfp nfp nfp
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Department of Human Services
Total — Revenue

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 $686.7 million over five years.

Listings include:

  • Lyrica® (Pregabalin) for the treatment of sufferers with chronic nerve pain;
  • Victrelis® and Incivo® (boceprevir and telaprevir) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (genotype 1);
  • Femme‑Tab ED® (levonorgestrel with ethinyloestradiol) for use as an oral contraceptive;
  • Neupro® (rotigotine) for the treatment of Parkinson disease; and
  • Juvicor® (sitagliptin with simvastatin) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

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

General consumers will continue to pay a $36.10 co‑payment per prescription and concession card holders will pay a $5.90 co‑payment per prescription.

Further information can be found in the press releases of 16 November 2012 and 19 February 2013 issued by the Minister for Health and on www.pbs.gov.au.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme — price changes

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 0.1 0.9 0.8 0.9 0.9
Department of Veterans' Affairs .. 0.1 .. .. ..
Department of Human Services
Total — Expense 0.1 0.9 0.9 0.9 0.9

The Government has agreed to a number of price increases for certain medicines currently listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS), at a cost of $3.8 million over five years.

These price increases are for:

  • Zovirax® (aciclovir) for the treatment of herpes simplex virus infections of the eye;
  • BenPen® (benzylpenicillin) for the treatment of serious bacterial infections;
  • Aquea® and Aquae Gel® (carmellose and hypromellose) for the treatment of dry mouth in the palliative care setting;
  • E‑Mycin® (erythromycin) for the treatment of respiratory tract infections;
  • Alphapress® (hydralazine) for the treatment of high blood pressure;
  • Colifoam® (hydrocortisone) for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease;
  • Macrodantin® (nitrofurantoin) for the treatment of urinary tract infections; and
  • Ulcyte® (sucralfate) for the treatment of stomach ulcers.

Further information can be found in the press release of 19 February 2013 issued by the Minister for Health and on www.pbs.gov.au.

Post‑market surveillance — review of Alzheimers Disease medications

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Total — Expense

The Government has negotiated reduced prices for the Alzheimers Disease medicines donepezil, rivastigmine, galantamine and memantine from 1 April 2013, and simplified access from 1 May 2013 following the completion of a post‑market review by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in December 2012. Many of the more than 130,000 Australians suffering from Alzheimers Disease will have better access to these medicines due to the removal of some of the administrative barriers to receiving treatment.

Anticipated savings from this measure of $55.7 million over five years were provided for in the 2012‑13 Budget, based on the level of evidence provided to PBAC, which led to the Committee's recommendation to Government that a review be undertaken.

Further information can be found in the press release of 23 April 2013 issued jointly by the Minister for Health and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Pricing arrangements for products listed on the Stoma Appliance Scheme

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing ‑0.1 ‑0.4 ‑0.4 ‑0.4 ‑0.4

The Government has agreed to revised pricing arrangements for a number of products listed on the Stoma Appliance Scheme (SAS). The removal and awarding of price premiums was recommended by the Stoma Product Assessment Panel which assesses products for listing on the SAS, resulting in savings of $1.7 million over five years.

The SAS 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.

Further information can be found in the Stoma Appliance Scheme Schedule on the Department of Health and Ageing website www.health.gov.au.

Primary Care Infrastructure Grants Program — Ashford Community Health Facility

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 0.3

The Government will contribute $0.3 million in 2013‑14 towards the conversion of an existing community hall into a new medical centre in Ashford, NSW.

The Ashford Community Health Facility will improve medical, allied health and client facilities and support the delivery of better health outcomes for the community of Ashford.

Support Senior Australians — the Andrew Fisher Applied Policy Institute for Ageing

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.2

The Government will provide $4.6 million over four years to establish the Andrew Fisher Applied Policy Institute for Ageing to prepare evidence‑based advice on demographic change; health, wellbeing and lifestyle; engagement and participation in the community; lifelong learning; infrastructure and support for an ageing world and respecting and celebrating older people and their continued contributions to society.

Supporting Senior Australians — Wound Management Scoping Study

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing

The Government will provide $0.3 million in 2013‑14 to fund a scoping study and cost benefit analysis of options to better address chronic wound management for senior Australians.

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

This measure forms part of the Government's Supporting Senior Australians package.

Tobacco plain packaging — compliance, enforcement and litigation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing nfp nfp nfp nfp

The Government will provide funding over four years to continue compliance and enforcement activities associated with tobacco plain packaging legislation and to defend domestic and international legal campaigns initiated by tobacco companies against the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 and the graphic health warning reforms.

Compliance activities will include advising manufacturers, suppliers and retailers on legislation to ensure awareness of their obligations and responsibilities, and inspections of retail outlets to ensure the legislation is complied with.

This measure builds on the Tobacco plain packaging—compliance and Tobacco plain packaging—litigation measures in the 2012‑13 Budget.

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

Vaccine Preventable Diseases Surveillance Program — continuation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing
Department of the Treasury
Total — Expense

The Government will provide funding of $3.3 million over four years from 2013‑14 to continue surveillance reporting by the states and territories of diseases in the Australian population that can be prevented through vaccination. The program currently includes 14 nationally notifiable diseases, including measles, invasive meningococcal disease, whooping cough, heamophilus influenza type b, invasive pneumococcal disease, diphtheria, and poliomyelitis.

Continual reporting by the states and territories will allow national monitoring, analysis and reporting of data which will inform immunisation policy, assist in monitoring performance of current vaccines and contribute to the development of new vaccines.

This is a component of the National Partnership Agreement on Health Services. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Victorian Local Hospital Networks — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 107.0
Department of the Treasury ‑55.1
Total — Expense 51.9

The Government will provide $107.0 million directly to Victorian Local Hospital Networks to assist Victorian hospitals to address funding shortfalls and maintain health services. This funding is being provided in addition to the Commonwealth's funding commitments under the National Health Reform Agreement.

Some $55.1 million towards the cost of this measure will be met from a redirection of Victoria's reward payments under the 2008 National Partnership Agreement to deliver a Seamless National Economy (SNE) reflecting the Victorian Government's performance on SNE reform.

This measure took effect on 21 March 2013 with the creation of the Local Hospital Network Special Account.

Further information can be found in the press release of 21 February 2013 issued by the Minister for Health.

Woomera Hospital — one year continuation of agreement

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing ‑1.4 ‑1.4 ‑1.4

The Government will continue its agreement with the South Australian Government to provide funding of $1.3 million for one year to help transition a winding down of services at Woomera Hospital by 1 July 2014. The current agreement was due to expire in 30 June 2013. In recent years, the number of patients admitted to Woomera Hospital has declined significantly, with patients transferring to the nearby Roxby Downs Hospital, which has assumed the role of the regional health centre.

Woomera Hospital is leased to the South Australian Government by the Commonwealth. Ceasing funding from 1 July 2014 will allow time for the consideration of transitional arrangements to ensure that the health needs of local residents and Defence personnel will continue to be met following the decommissioning of the hospital.

World Leading Cancer Care — additional funding for BreastScreen Australia program — expand the target age range

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of the Treasury 9.8 10.4 12.0 14.2
Department of Health and Ageing 2.6 3.1 1.7 1.7
Total — Expense 12.5 13.5 13.7 15.9

The Government will provide $55.7 million over four years to improve the early detection of breast cancer by expanding the target age range of women invited to participate in the BreastScreen Australia program from 50‑69, to 50‑74 years of age. This will increase the number of services delivered from 2013‑14, so that by 2016‑17 onwards more than 145,000 additional women are expected to access breast screening services every two years.

This measure also includes targeted communication to inform women and health professionals of the expanded age range and provide system improvements to support BreastScreen Australia services, jurisdictional registries and data reporting functions.

This measure builds on the existing BreastScreen Australia program, which commenced in 1991, and forms part of the Government's cancer package, World Leading Cancer Care.

World Leading Cancer Care — additional funding for McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse initiative — continuation and expansion

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 4.5 4.9 5.0 5.1

The Government will provide $19.5 million over four years to continue and expand the McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse initiative. McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurses are specially trained registered nurses who act as patient advocates, coordinating care for women with breast cancer, their families and carers.

The Government will fund approximately 13 new positions, bringing the total number of McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurses to 57. The additional nurses will support new Regional Cancer Centres and also provide services in outer metropolitan areas.

This measure builds on the 2008‑09 Budget measure Health and Hospitals Reform — Health Workforce — specialist breast cancer nurses.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 5 January 2013 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Health.

This measure forms part of the Government's cancer package World Leading Cancer Care.

World Leading Cancer Care — Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centres — continuation and expansion

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 4.0 4.7 4.8 4.9

The Government will provide $18.5 million over four years to fund the new Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Darlinghurst, New South Wales, and to continue funding for the existing Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centres at the Epworth Hospital in Victoria, the Queensland University of Technology and the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland.

The centres will work collaboratively to coordinate research and develop improved tests, screening tools and treatments for prostate cancer.

This measure builds on the 2008‑09 Budget measure titled Health and Hospitals Reform — National Cancer Plan — prostate cancer research centres.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 28 August 2012 issued by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer and the Minister for Health.

This measure forms part of the Government's cancer package World Leading Cancer Care.

World Leading Cancer Care — Bone Marrow Transplant Program — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 3.8 5.1 6.6 8.4

The Government will provide additional funding of $23.8 million over four years to meet increases in demand and program costs for the Bone Marrow Transplant Program (BMTP). This will enable critically ill Australians to access stem cells, bone marrow, cord blood and related tissue transplants from overseas. Bone marrow transplantation and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation are potentially life‑saving procedures that restore stem cells destroyed during cancer treatment.

This measure will uncap the funding for the BMTP so that the Department of Health and Ageing can continue to meet the increasing demand for these tissue transplants. As part of this proposal, the Department of Health and Ageing will also investigate options to increase the number of domestic donors.

This measure forms part of the Government's cancer package World Leading Cancer Care.

World Leading Cancer Care — cancer data to improve cancer survival — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Cancer Australia 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6

The Government will provide $2.4 million over four years to Cancer Australia to collect, collate and report national cancer data relating to the stage of cancer at diagnosis, treatment, and the frequency of recurrence after treatment. This data will address current gaps in cancer data.

This measure builds on the 2009‑10 Budget measure titled World Class Cancer Care — cancer data to improve cancer survival.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 8 May 2013 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Health.

This measure forms part of the Government's cancer package World Leading Cancer Care.

World Leading Cancer Care — chemotherapy services — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 0.1 29.5

The Government will provide $29.6 million to increase dispensing fees for chemotherapy medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and to conduct a comprehensive review of the current arrangements for chemotherapy services.

Dispensing fees will be increased by $60 per infusion, from $76.37 to $136.37, for six months from 1 July 2013.

The review will cost $1.2 million and will report to the Minister for Health by October 2013. The review will examine the currently complex arrangements in place for funding and delivery of chemotherapy services and recommend more sustainable arrangements into the future.

Further information can be found in the press release of 5 May 2013 issued by the Minister for Health.

World Leading Cancer Care — improving lung cancer outcomes — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Cancer Australia 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5

The Government will provide $5.9 million over four years to Cancer Australia to continue to develop improved care for people affected by lung cancer, their families and carers, including the estimated 10,000 people diagnosed with lung cancer in Australia each year.

This funding will support training and education programs for primary care providers, quality service delivery of lung cancer treatment and end‑of‑life care, and national research and monitoring of lung cancer data.

This measure builds on the 2009‑10 Budget measure titled Cancer Australia — improved lung cancer data and treatment guidelines.

This measure forms part of the Government's cancer package World Leading Cancer Care.

World Leading Cancer Care — National Bowel Cancer Screening Program — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 3.7 3.8 4.4 4.1
Department of Veterans' Affairs .. .. .. ..
Department of Human Services .. .. .. ..
Total — Expense 3.7 3.8 4.4 4.2

The Government will provide $16.1 million over four years to enhance the Program Register of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program to support electronic reporting by health professionals, and meet increased costs resulting from higher population estimates for test kits. This measure will ensure that all eligible Australians aged 50, 55, 60, 65 and from 2015, 70 years of age receive timely access to bowel cancer screening.

This measure builds on the 2012‑13 Budget measure titled National Bowel Cancer Screening Program — expansion, which extended bowel cancer screening eligibility to Australians turning 60 years of age from 2013 and Australians turning 70 years of age from 2015.

This measure forms part of the Government's cancer package World Leading Cancer Care.

World Leading Cancer Care — Victorian Cytology Service — continuation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing

The Government will provide $36.5 million over four years to continue funding the Victorian Cytology Service to support the early detection of pre‑cancerous cervical conditions.

The Victorian Cytology Service is a cancer centre that processes approximately 300,000 Pap smears per annum including processing Pap smears by practitioners other than General Practitioners, such as nurses, which may lead to increased screening rates in under‑screened groups. It also conducts research into cervical cancer and provides benchmarking data to the Commonwealth on the pricing and service quality of cytology specimens to help establish the scheduled price for Pap smears under the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

This existing component of the National Partnership Agreement on Health Services is due to expire on 30 June 2013. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

This measure forms part of the Government's Cancer Package World Leading Cancer Care.

World Leading Cancer Care — Youth Cancer Networks — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Health and Ageing 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.7

The Government will provide $18.2 million over four years to CanTeen to support the Youth Cancer Networks program which provides facilities for treatment and social and emotional support for adolescents and young adults with cancer, and facilitates participation in clinical trials to assess new cancer technologies. In addition, CanTeen will develop comprehensive guidelines on diagnosis and treatment of young people with cancer.

This measure builds on the 2008‑09 Budget measure titled Health and Hospitals Reform — National Cancer Plan — youth cancer networks.

This measure forms part of the Government's cancer package World Leading Cancer Care.

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