Investing in Australia’s Health: Federal Budget 2017-18

The Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges is the peak body for specialist medicine in Australia. We educate and train Australia’s future doctors to provide the highest quality medical care.

Our vision is to improve, protect and promote the health of the Australian public.

CPMC welcomes Federal Budget 2017-18 as a positive step towards increasing investment in Australia’s health system. CPMC notes the following measures:

  • $1 billion over three years to resume Medicare indexation, phased-in firstly for bulk-billing incentives (1 July 2017) and then General Practice and specialist consultation fees (1 July 2018) and from 1 July 2019 specialist procedures and allied health.
  • Retention of bulk-billing incentive payments for pathology and diagnostic imaging, increased auditing of rental arrangements, and a resumption of indexation for some diagnostic imaging procedures from 2020.
  • A commitment to reinvesting in new drug subsidies by reducing the cost of medicines by $1.8 billion over five years.
  • A rise in the Medicare levy by 0.5 per cent on 1 July 2019 to add $8.2 billion for the NDIS.

The investments in Health announced in Budget 2017 Budget will work to alleviate the barriers to parts of Australia’s health system.
CPMC Chair Professor Nick Talley said “Australia’s medical specialists work in all areas and in every part of the country from the city to the bush. They know the challenges being faced by Australians.”

Professor Talley said that “Specialist Medical Colleges called for the MBS freeze to be lifted to enable people to access essential services. The $115 million investment into mental health is vital in this regard.”

Professor Talley noted the establishment of a new Medicare Guarantee Fund to meet the ongoing costs of the MBS and PBS. However, he stressed the need for further investment in system reform noting that “improved efficiency of the system will allow for savings to be made for re-investment into other areas.”

CPMC’s vision for Australia’s health is one which is integrated, adequately funded and seamless for patients to transition throughout their care pathways from primary, acute, community or aged care.

Media Contacts:

Professor Nick Talley (02) 4921 5855

Angela Magarry 043 722 7422