News

Small signs of progress in budget update


Doug Hendrie


16/12/2019 3:13:08 PM

The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook includes relatively little for GPs, but there are some promising initiatives.

MYEFO report
The longstanding GP shortage on the Central Coast of New South Wales is being targeted under a $2 million incentive fund applying only to that region.

There are small signs of progress for general practice  in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2019–20.
 
Chief among these is a $7.2 million initiative to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 and older in the new voluntary patient enrolment model of care coming into operation on 1 July next year.
 
The new voluntary enrolment model, announced in this year’s budget, was originally intended only for people over 70.
 
In addition, the longstanding GP shortage on the New South Wales Central Coast is being targeted under a $2 million incentive fund applying only to that region.
 
Other new announcements include $4.7 million in 2019–20 for a survey of younger people in aged care to support new targets to reduce the number of younger people in such care.
 
An extra $36 million will be spent on ‘essential’ maintenance for the Medicare and aged care payment IT systems.
 
New Medicare items will be introduced following recommendations by the Medical Services Advisory Committee, including diagnostic genetic testing for familial hypercholesterolemia in clinical affected individuals and predictive testing of biological relatives, as well as items for genetic testing for childhood syndromes, hereditary colorectal and endometrial cancers, and somatic markers for diagnostic and classification of tumours.
 
Other items that have previously been announced include: 

  • reducing the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme safety net thresholds, which will see concessional patients reach the safety net with an estimated 12 fewer scripts a year ($335 million)
  • a national perinatal screening program for new and expecting parents to improve mental health outcomes ($36 million)
  • more than $620 million in funding for the aged care sector, after a damning interim royal commission report. Most of the aged care funding – $496 million – is for an extra 10,000 home care packages across four years
  • a program to reduce the use of chemical restraints in aged care facilities ($25.5 million).
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budget general practice MYEFO



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