2014 Budget announcement
The Coalition’s 2014 Budget announcement is based on the premise that if we need to take our medicine now it will ensure Australia is best positioned to address future health needs.
Investment in research, which will see Australia have the world’s largest medical research endowment fund, is a welcomed initiative to advance world leading medical research projects, attract and retain first class researchers and address impending long term health challenges, which include an ageing population, growing complexity in care needs, an ageing workforce and funding reform which includes consumers bearing more for their individual cost of care.
“The Government will however need to be mindful that savings to fund the research fund does not increase the burden on current health care providers and consumers," said Sandy Lawson, Head of Health & Aged Care, Grant Thornton Australia.
Health savings include reforms to health funding and expenditure including new patient contribution towards the costs of standard GP visits and for imaging and pathology services and a new Medicare Safety Net. The Government is also increasing co-payments for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines to ensure the scheme remains sustainable into the future.
State Governments will also feel the pressure of federal funding saving initiatives, and be left to manage the funding gap.
“Research will need to be balanced between addressing current health challenges and importantly producing much needed preventative solutions that will reduce the increasing strain on our health services over years to come,” said Ms Lawson.
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