Federal Budget 2019-2020: Strengthening Access to Health Care

The Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges has welcomed the 2019-20 Federal Budget, with a highlight on boosting the economy to create more jobs and to guarantee essential services.

The increased investment into the Health portfolio in the areas of Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Aged Care, specialist Diagnostics, Mental Health, Preventive Care and Indigenous health and medical research is a positive step to strengthening access to health care for all Australians.

CPMC Chair Dr Philip Truskett AM said the increase to the Medicare Levy low-income thresholds for singles, families, seniors and pensioners is welcome as is the attention to reducing the cost to patients for accessing important diagnostic services and easing the freeze on GP items. He said:

“The Australian population is ageing, and there are more people living in the community with chronic conditions. An increased investment in General Practice along with increased access to specialist diagnostic care is critical to supporting these people.”

CPMC welcomes the investment into building access to more specialist services to rural Australia with the announcement of $62.2 million for a National Rural Generalist Pathway and $26.6 million in funding for rural workforce development.

CPMC is pleased the government has listened to the need to focus on ending preventable health conditions for Indigenous Australians with the announcement of the Indigenous Health Research Fund to focus on ending rheumatic heart disease, avoidable deafness and blindness.

Media Contact: Angela Magarry 0437 227 422

CPMC is the peak body representing the interests of specialist medicine in Australia.