Health care is one of the most underfunded and under-resourced areas of public services in Australia.
In 2016, the Commonwealth Government announced that the Commonwealth Budget was to increase health spending by $30 billion over the next five years.
It was announced that it would increase funding for the Commonwealth’s Health Service, the Medicare Trust Fund, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the National Health and Medical Research Council.
While the budget was announced on the eve of the Commonwealth Games, health spending was already expected to grow by $8 billion over five years, with more money coming into the system each year.
There were also calls for increased funding for health services in the capital, Canberra, which saw a 4.4 per cent rise in the number of hospital admissions and a 3.4 percentage increase in the proportion of hospital beds in the city.
The new budget will see an increase in health spending of about $10 billion over a decade.
What we know about health care expenditure in Australia in 2016 and what to expect in 2017: The Commonwealth Budget is forecast to increase funding by $10.6 billion over two years to $36.3 billion, which will provide about $20 billion in extra health funding over the two years.
The Commonwealth also announced that an additional $2 billion would be provided to support the health system as a whole, including $1.5 billion in the form of funding for community health centres.
This extra $1 billion will also be used to provide additional funding to regional health services, as well as the Commonwealth to provide health and wellbeing support to vulnerable people.
As well as funding for additional health services the budget also provides $10 million to fund the construction of the Canberra Hospital and to ensure that the Canberra and Canberra University Hospitals remain fully operational.
An additional $1 million will also support health funding in regional communities.
The Government will also increase funding to support mental health services.
More than half of the $1-billion increase in funding for mental health is in relation to new initiatives to ensure the provision of support to people experiencing mental health challenges.
We know that the National Mental Health Alliance, which works to improve access to mental health and social supports, will receive an additional funding increase of $500 million.
Also, the Government will allocate $2.3 million to support Community Mental Health Centres (CMHCs) in the CBD, and the $2 million will support community mental health centres in remote communities.
Community mental health will also receive an extra $2-million to provide support to individuals and families with family or domestic violence issues.
Health and wellbeing funding for people with disabilities will increase by $3.2 million to $9.8 billion, to $5.9 billion, and to $3-billion, respectively.
The Government will invest $300 million in community mental Health Centers across the state and federal capital region.
Health and Wellbeing in Australia: 2017-18 article The Commonwealth Budget also provides additional funding for primary care services, including primary care funding for hospitals and nursing homes, which has been a priority area of Government.
A further $5 billion will be provided for the new Primary Health and Wellness Program, which provides health and wellness support to all Australians, including those with disabilities.
Primary care funding will be increased by $2 per cent, to approximately $1,300 per enrollee, and an additional two years will be given to primary care in a bid to help people transition to a primary care setting.
Additionally, $500,000 will be allocated to the Commonwealth for new mental health treatment centres and new residential care services.
This will ensure that all Australians who require support in a crisis, including individuals with disabilities, have the capacity to access appropriate services, with an emphasis on support to assist people with developmental disabilities, autism and learning difficulties.