Budget 2019 – 2020 and what it means for you
Wednesday, 3 April 2019
With a Federal election looming, the Budget is dominated by tax cuts, transport and electricity.
However, there are a number of health measures that are relevant to people living with diabetes.
Under the Strengthening Primary Care package, people over the age of 70 can voluntarily enter into agreements with their specific GP which will allow the provision of remote care for consultations, referrals, scripts and test results. The clinic will receive a lump sum payment for their care over a period of time, rather than a fee per visit. This is targeting people with diabetes, with the aim of increasing timely care and convenience. This initiative has been funded to $448.5 million.
There will be a new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item introduced for heart health checks.
The indexation freeze on the Medicare Benefits Schedule will lift on GP services from 1 July, 2019, with X-ray and ultrasound services to follow in July 2020.
Starting with gynaecology, obstetrics and cancer services the Government will start to make out-of-pocket costs for specialists publicly available. While there is no timeline on the rollout of this program to other specialists, it will help to increase transparency of comparative specialist costs, especially with private health insurance.
Under Aged Care, 10,000 new home care packages have been announced, with an additional $84 million for carer respite.
The Royal Commission into mistreatment of people with a disability has been included in this Budget with a half a billion dollar allocation.