Investing in leading medical research and managing an ageing population were key themes in 2018 Federal Budget.
The Federal Government proposed a range of initiatives to support Australia’s healthcare sector.
A new era for the medical industry
To ensure that Australia maintains its position as a global leader in healthcare services, the Federal Government has proposed an investment of $1.3b in the 21st Century Medical Industry Growth Plan.
The Growth Plan includes a $500m commitment to the Genomics Health Futures Mission and a further $707m from the Medical Research Future Fund to support the Frontier Health and Medical Research program, expanded clinical trials, Biomedtech programs and Industry Researcher Collaborations.
In the Budget speech, Treasurer Scott Morrison, said: “Our plan will provide more support for medical research projects, new diagnostic tools, clinical trials and new drugs, scientific collaboration, and development of new medical technologies that can be sold overseas.”
The Budget also outlined $125m to be invested over 10 years in Mental Health Research. This is expected to be funded by the Medical Research Future Fund.
Improving access to home care
To provide greater support for Australians seeking aged care in their homes, the Federal Government is looking to spend $1.6bn on 14,000 additional home care packages by 2021-22.
The Federal Government is also seeking to provide easier access to suitable care and improve the ability for Australians to navigate the aged care system.
- $61.7m to enhance the My Aged Care website
- $14.8m to streamline the assessment process for aged care services
Access to medicines
The Federal Government has proposed $1.4bn for new and amended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Medicines to be included within these listings cover the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy, breast cancer, relapsing‑remitting multiple sclerosis and a new medicine to prevent HIV.
Fostering remote healthcare
As part of the Federal Government’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy, the Budget proposed a number of measures to improve access to healthcare services, with a focus on rural and remote locations and supporting indigenous health organisations.
There is also a focus on implementing workforce incentive programs to encourage doctors and students to complete their training in regional areas.
Treasurer Scott Morrison outlined the following initiatives in the Budget speech:
- Indigenous Australians benefit from the $1.7bn for the Federal Government’s new primary health care model.
- Establishment of a new network of five regional medical schools within the broader Murray Darling region
- $84m in additional funding for the Royal Flying Doctor Service
Keep in mind
Any changes outlined in the Federal Budget must be passed by both the House of Representatives, which is controlled by the government, and the Senate, where proposed expenditures are subject to examination within Senate estimates hearings. This means any proposed cuts or changes outlined above may not necessarily become law.
Taxation considerations are general and based on present taxation laws and may be subject to change. You should seek independent, professional tax advice before making any decision based on this information.