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MYEFO misses mark on health

Posted 15 December 2015

Tuesday 15 December 2015

The mid-year economic fiscal outlook figures released today have seen health draw the short straw and more than $1.8 billion over four years of crucial funding in the health and ageing portfolios redirected to ‘repair’ the Budget, rather than being reinvested back into health and ageing.

VHA CEO Tom Symondson said any efficiencies found in health spending should be reinvested in upholding a health system that is already set to be deprived of billions of dollars in the 2017-18 financial year following the hospital funding cuts slated in last year’s Budget.

“Health funding is already in short supply and we need to see stronger investment in turning around the state of Australians’ health and wellbeing, particularly with respect to preventing avoidable chronic and complex disease,” Mr Symondson said.

“This is a disappointing result and we hope the Government’s next budget will demonstrate its commitment to future proofing Australia’s health and aged care system.”

Below is an outline of the health and ageing cuts, redirections and new expenditure.


Health and aged care cuts to repair the Budget


Over four years ($m) 

Revision to Aged Care Funding Instrument


Improved compliance in aged care


Changes to diagnostic imaging and pathology services bulk billing incentives


Streamlining funding across health workforce programs (Note $225 million of $595.1 will be redirected to fund other health workforce priorities)


Ceasing the Better Access to Radiation Oncology Programme


New and amended listings to the Medicare Benefits Schedule


Redesign of 24 health programmes associated with population health, medical services , eHealth and health workforce


Retendering the National Diabetes Services Scheme from 2018-19

not for publication

Savings from use of alternative vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis


Cessation of the National Rural and Remote Health Infrastructure Programme


Further reduction of the number of government bodies in the Health Portfolio





Health and aged care expenditure marked for redirection in health portfolio


Over four years ($m) 

Consolidation of existing mental health programmes - to contribute to Government's response to National Ice Taskforce Final Report


After hours primary care funding - to be redirected to Primary Health Networks


Regulation of medicinal cannabis

To be met from existing resources within the Department of Health

Redirection of additional funds from health workforce programmes to support workforce priorities





New expenditure since 2015-16 Budget


Over four years ($m)

Immunisation catch up programme (total investment is $154.1 million, $86.7 million represents new funds)


New and amended listings on PBS


Price amendments to certain medicines in PBS


Investment in Tasmanian Health Services


Investment in National Biomedical Translation Fund


Extension of Poly Implant Prostheses breast implants - Medicare rebates


Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement




Media contact: Rachel White – 0438 815 561


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