Our Plan for

Strengthening Australia's World-Class Health System

Key Points

The Morrison Government’s Long-Term National Health Plan is providing Australians with access to quality medical care, record hospital funding, affordable life-saving medicines and breakthrough research for new drugs and treatments.

Our goal is to make our health system even stronger and to ensure it is the best in the world.

By keeping our economy strong we will ensure the essential health services that Australians rely on, such as Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Medicare funding is at record levels. Almost nine out of 10 Australians who visit the doctor have no out of pocket costs with GP bulk billing rates at a record 86 per cent, up from 82 per cent under Labor.

We are keeping the cost of health care down by increasing funding for diagnostic services such as MRIs and PET scans to detect breast cancer.

In partnership with GPs, we will improve options for more flexible care to meet the needs of patients and to keep them healthy and out of hospital with a $1.6 billion package to strengthen primary care.

Australians have access to the latest medicines through the PBS – with reduced costs on more than 2,000 new and amended medicines listings since 2013, thanks to an investment of $10.6 billion. These medicines are saving and changing lives.

Record funding will be provided for public hospitals with an additional $31 billion from 2020-21 to 2024-25 to employ more nurses, doctors and specialists, delivering – in partnership with the states and territories – more surgeries and medical services.

With one in five Australians affected by a mental health disorder, we are expanding support services particularly for young people. We are working to address the nation’s suicide rate with the largest youth suicide prevention plan in Australia’s history focused on expanding headspace, Indigenous youth suicide prevention and supporting children and their parents.

Australians living in rural and regional Australia have greater access to services including through new regional cancer centres, expanded telehealth services, regional clinical trial centres and increased opportunities for Australia’s rural and regional health workforce.

Our 10-year medical research plan through the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund backs our local scientists and ensures we can quickly take life-saving discoveries from the laboratory to the hospital.

When Labor was last in Government, their budget mismanagement denied patients affordable access to life changing medicines. Hospital funding and bulk billing rates were lower under Labor. And Labor won’t commit to the Private Health Insurance rebate.

If you can’t manage the budget, you can’t invest in essential health services.

Introduction

A stronger economy means the Morrison Government can guarantee the essential services that Australians rely on.

Our Long-Term National Health Plan is based on four key pillars: Medicare and medicines, hospitals, mental health and medical research.

Over the next four years, we will invest a further $6 billion in Medicare.

Under the Morrison Government, almost nine out of 10 Australians who visit the doctor have no out of pocket costs with GP bulk billing rates at a record 86 per cent, up from 82 per cent under Labor.

We will deliver a $1.6 billion package to strengthen Australia’s world-class primary care system, helping GPs provide better care and keep people healthy and out of hospital.

For the first time we are making Medicare available for MRI and PET scans for breast cancer with an investment of $32.6 million to benefit 15,000 patients during their diagnosis and pre-surgery planning. This is in addition to the $198.6 million funding for diagnostic imaging to reduce the costs of vital scans and x-rays, plus a further $375 million expansion of more than 50 MRI licences around the country.All up, our investment in diagnostic imaging totals more than $606 million and benefits all patients requiring diagnostic services.

Since coming to Government, the Liberal Nationals Government has invested $10.6 billion to add over 2,000 new medicines listings to the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS). We are subsidising breakthrough medicines such as Spinraza for spinal muscular atrophy, Orkambi for cystic fibrosis and new immunotherapy drugs for cancer. These are medicines that change and save lives. We are bringing new cancer treatments to Australia such as the revolutionary CAR-T cell treatment for cancer, which has the potential to provide a cure for blood cancers.

Ensuring a strong economy has enabled the Morrison Government to deliver record funding for public hospital services. Funding has increased by 60 per cent to a record $21 billion in 2018-19. When Labor left office in 2013, public hospital funding was $13 billion.

The Morrison Government is prioritising support for mental health services with funding exceeding $4.8 billion in 2018-19. This includes a $375 million expansion of headspace services and new residential centres for treating eating disorders. We will trial eight new adult mental health centres as an alternative to Emergency Departments. And we are supporting farmers and regional communities affected by natural disasters to ensure they get the support they need through increased mental health services including telehealth services.

We will invest $70.2 million to establish new residential eating disorders treatment facilities nationally. This builds on the $110 million announced in December 2018 to create the first specific, comprehensive Medicare items so that people affected by eating disorders can access up to 40 psychological services and
20 dietetic services.

Importantly our $503.1 million Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan is the largest suicide prevention plan in Australia’s history and focuses on expanding the headspace network, Indigenous suicide prevention and early childhood and parenting.

We are supporting Australians who have diabetes. Having delivered our commitment to provide continuous glucose monitoring for children at risk, we’re expanding the program to over 37,000 pregnant women and concession card holders over the age of 21.

We will invest a further $1 billion to provide core dental services for children and enable families to claim up to $1,000 in benefits under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.

The Morrison Government is also expanding the National Immunisation Program to cover whooping cough vaccines for pregnant women and adolescents with a vaccine protecting against meningococcal strains ACWY. We are also investing $12 million over the next three years to extend the reach of the childhood immunisation education campaign to encourage vaccinations which save lives and protect children from serious diseases.

Investment in medical research is critical to the release of new medicines, medical devices and disease treatments. We will invest $6 billion to develop these new treatments and potential cures in collaboration with Australia’s health and medical research sector. Genomics is being prioritised to develop personalised treatments for cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, ageing and dementia and mental health. This includes $614 million for clinical trials for rare cancers, rare diseases and unmet needs.

The Morrison Government is implementing the most comprehensive rural health package in decades, which will improve access to doctors, nurses and other health care services for all Australians, especially those in the regions. We believe that people living in rural and regional Australia deserve the same access to high-quality healthcare services as those living in capital cities.

That is why we are investing $550 million for the Stronger Rural Health Strategy, which delivers 3,000 additional doctors and more than 3,000 additional nurses and allied health professionals in rural general practice over the next decade. In addition we will invest $100 million to establish the Rural and Regional Clinical Trials Infrastructure Program.

Our Plan

Guaranteeing Medicare

We have established the Medicare Guarantee Fund, which is guaranteeing the ongoing funding of the Medicare Benefits Schedule and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme with $36.6 billion in 2019-20.

We will increase Medicare spending by $6 billion from $24.7 billion in 2018-19 to $30.7 billion in 2022-23 – far exceeding the $19.5 billion allocated by the former Labor Government in 2013.

We have removed Labor’s Medicare Freeze with the re-indexation of Medicare and diagnostic imaging, totaling $2.4 billion from 2017-18 to 2022-23.

Record GP Bulk Billing

Under the Morrison Government, almost nine out of 10 Australians who visit the doctor have no out of pocket costs with the GP bulk billing rates at a record 86 per cent, up from 82 per cent under Labor.

Over 133 million free GP services were delivered in 2017-18 – an increase of 5.7 million from 2016-17 and 27.3 million more than Labor managed in their last year.

Supporting our GPs to provide better care

The Morrison Government will deliver a $1.6 billion package to strengthen Australia’s world-class primary care system, supporting Australia’s doctors and specialists to deliver better care for patients.

A new $448.5 million funding and service model will support GPs to provide enhanced care to patients, many of whom will have chronic and complex conditions. This will allow Australians aged 70 and over to enter into a new type of agreement with their general practice to receive more personalised, consistent and coordinated care.

GPs and others in their practice will be able to provide consultations, referrals, scripts and test results by email, phone, FaceTime or Skype – making it easier and more convenient for patients, including those in rural, regional and remote areas.

Doctors will be supported by a $201.5 million boost to the Practice Incentives Program Quality Improvement Initiative including funding to treat aged care residents.

More Affordable Medicines

Under the Liberal National Government, more than 2,000 new or amended medicines listings have been added to the PBS since 2013. That’s an average of one new or amended medicine listing a day, worth a total of over $10.6 billion, including $1.4 billion for cancer medicines in the past year.

Unlike Labor’s track record we have a commitment to list all medicines on the PBS after a positive recommendation from the medical experts.

The PBS is an uncapped scheme and we have provisioned $40 billion for these life-changing medicines on the PBS over the next four years.

Many of these drugs cost thousands of dollars, but are now available through your local pharmacy for $6.50 (concessional) or $40.30 (general patients) per script.

These life saving and life changing medicines include:

  • Opdivo and Yervoy® for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma, which would otherwise cost patients $254,200 per treatment course without subsidy.
  • Ibrance® and Kisqali® for advanced and metastatic breast cancer are now available, which would otherwise cost up to $70,000 per year without subsidy.
  • Venclexta® in combination with Rituximab for the treatment of adult patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, which would otherwise cost $165,000 per treatment course without subsidy.
  • Tagrisso® for non-small cell lung cancer which would otherwise cost $88,000 per treatment course without subsidy.
  • Spinraza® a life-changing medicine which treats the devastating illness Spinal Muscular Atrophy is now available on the PBS, which would otherwise cost more than $367,850 per year without subsidy.
  • Orkambi® for cystic fibrosis, which would otherwise cost $250,000 without subsidy.

Through community pharmacies we will continue to support quality use of medicines programs such as dose administration aids and medicines checks.

LOWERING THE PBS SAFETY NET

A re-elected Morrison Government will also invest $308 million to further cut the cost of life changing prescription medicines for over 1.4 million Australians who require multiple medicines.

From 1 January 2020 the Safety Net threshold to receive free or cheaper medicines through the PBS will be lowered by 12 scripts for concession card holders and the equivalent of 2 scripts for non-concession card holders.

This change will mean that people will take less time to reach their safety net threshold saving them up to $80 per year and providing them earlier access to free medicines or medicines at a reduced co-payment.

This will be of particular benefit to families who require multiple medicines per month and pensioners and individuals with multiple chronic conditions such as heart disease, high cholesterol, arthritis, asthma and diabetes.

Greater Access to Life-saving Diagnosis, Scans and Tests

We will significantly expand access to MRI scans covered by Medicare which will help keep the cost of health care down for families, and boost the fight against cancer and other serious conditions.

We will invest $375 million in more than 50 Medicare-eligible MRI licences across the country.

We will invest $32.6 million to provide Medicare funded MRI and PET scans supporting the 15,000 Australians diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

The Morrison Government has also announced an extra $198.6 million investment in diagnostic imaging to reduce the cost of these services for patients by re-indexing more than 90 percent of services – including ultrasounds and x-rays.

This will lead to lower costs when patients see their radiologists, obstetricians and cardiologists. It is the first time in 20 years that a government has increased funding for these essential services – once again, Labor failed to act to reduce these costs for patients.

We are providing record funding for Medicare funded blood tests by investing $2.95 billion for approximately
145 million pathology services last year alone, an 8.5% increase. This is an increase of $572 million since we were first elected and this investment in services will continue to grow to over $3.4 billion in 2021-22.

This has led to record bulk billing rates for out of hospital Medicare pathology services – 99.3% in 2017-18.

We are paving the way for the future of diagnosis with a $500 million Genomics Mission focused on how we improve access to genetic tests that will enable more individually targeted cancer treatment.

Simpler and More Affordable Private Health Insurance

For the 13 million Australians who rely on private health insurance, we have introduced reforms to make it more affordable and easier. These include:

  • Four easy-to-understand levels of cover to make it easier to compare insurance policies.
  • Discounts for Australians under 30 of up to 10 per cent.
  • Greater access for mental health services.
  • Greater travel and accommodation benefits for regional and rural Australians.

These reforms have resulted in the lowest average premium change in 18 years.

The Morrison Government will guarantee the private health insurance rebate.

Labor’s plan for private health insurance will remove the rebate from low-cost policies and force over 65,000 Australian families to pay up to 16 per cent more for their health cover.

Record Hospital Investment

Ensuring a strong economy has enabled the Morrison Government to deliver record funding for public hospital services.

Funding has increased by 60 per cent to a record $21 billion in 2018-19. When Labor left office in 2013, public hospital funding was $13 billion. Under the Morrison Government funding for hospitals will continue to grow.

Under a new national hospitals agreement with the states and territories, the Morrison Government has committed an additional $31 billion in public hospital funding from 2020-21 to 2024-25, taking overall funding during this period to over $131 billion.

The Morrison Government will continue to increase funding for every hospital in every community and every state and territory across Australia, with full details available at the Department of Health Funding Facts website,
health.gov.au.

Patients in every state and territory will also have access to improved health and hospital services under our landmark $1.3 billion Commonwealth Health and Hospitals Program (CHHP).

Funded projects include:

  • $100 million for Australia’s first Comprehensive Children’s Cancer Centre at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick;
  • $30 million for a new state-wide brain and spinal rehabilitation unit at the revamped Repat Health Precinct in South Australia;
  • $80 million for a Centre of Excellence in Cellular Immunotherapy at Melbourne’s world-leading Peter McCallum Cancer Centre;
  • A $25 million redevelopment of the Peel Health Campus in Western Australia and cancer treatment, elective surgery and outreach specialist services for Tasmania.

We will also invest $65 million for a 16-bed inpatient cystic fibrosis unit at the Westmead Hospital, which will integrate admission services with ambulatory care and research.

This will be Australia’s first dedicated cystic fibrosis specialist unit which will provide specialised treatment with state-of-the-art equipment, with consulting, research and diagnostic facilities all under one roof.

Medical Research Delivering Breakthrough Medicines

Investment in medical research is critical to delivering new life-saving treatments.

The Morrison Government's $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is supporting our local scientists to turn their medical discoveries into clinical trials and revolutionary treatments.

Under the MRFF, we are committed to a new 10-year $5 billion investment strategy underpinned by four key themes: patients, researchers, translation and missions.

This includes doubling the funding for rare cancers research; unprecedented investment in medical discoveries; more than doubling the funding for research fellowships and record funding for research infrastructure.

Our medical research missions tackle major health challenges and support future medical advances:

  • The $125 million Australian Brain Cancer Mission aims to double the survival rates and improve the quality of life for patients with brain cancer over the next ten years.
  • The $500 million Genomics Health Futures Mission aims to transform the lives of more than 200,000 Australians through research into better testing, diagnosis and treatment with precision medicine.
  • The $185 million Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Research Mission will improve the quality of life of older people, enhance workforce capability and improve quality of care.
  • The $220 million Cardiovascular Mission will improve health outcomes through prevention strategies, earlier detection and improved outcomes for patients suffering a heart attack or stroke.
  • The $160 million Indigenous Health Research Fund will support practical, innovative research into the best approaches to prevention, early intervention, and treatment of health conditions of greatest concern to Indigenous communities including $35 million for rheumatic heart disease.
  • The $150 million Stem Cell Therapies Mission will advance stem cell research that could potentially grow kidneys, repair damaged spinal cords and cure dementia.
  • The $50 million Traumatic Brain Injury Mission will enable nationally co-ordinated medical research to improve the recovery of patients with a traumatic brain injury and identify the most effective care and treatments.
  • The $125 million, 10 year Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission will assist up to one million people affected by mental illness.

Developing new drugs, devices and medical technologies takes time and requires long-term investment.

Our 10-year investment strategy and Health and Medical Research Industry Growth Plan will give researchers and industry certainty and direction. The plan will create jobs, support opportunities for co-investing and reaffirm Australia’s reputation as a global research powerhouse. Funding includes the development of a drug discovery centre to fast track new medicines so that our researchers can work in Australia rather than overseas. Clinical trials for rare cancers, rare diseases and unmet needs will be a particular focus with an investment of $614 million.

Mental Health

One in five Australians experience a common mental health disorder each year and to address this we have made mental health a key pillar of our national health system.

We are spending $4.8 billion on mental health this financial year alone.

  • Our Primary Health Networks are receiving $1.45 billion to enable them to deliver ongoing and community-tailored mental health services. This investment will boost crucial services such as headspace, local psychology consultations, suicide prevention activities, and community mental health nursing.
  • The Morrison Government is determined to reduce the rate of suicide, especially among young Australians. We are tackling this national crisis through our $503 million Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
  • We will ensure young Australians and their families get help where and when they need by investing an additional $375 million to fund an extra 30 headspaces. headspace provides youth-friendly services for the challenges facing young Australians across physical health, alcohol and other drug use, vocational support and mental health.
  • We have established the Million Minds Mission, providing $125 million through the Medical Research Future Fund for mental health research with the aim of bringing new treatments to an additional one million people, and ensuring our mental health system offers the best services possible.
  • We will invest $70.2 million to establish new residential eating disorders treatment facilities nationally. This builds on the $110 million announced in December 2018 to create the first specific, comprehensive Medicare items so that people affected by eating disorders can access up to 40 psychological services and 20 dietetic services.
  • To strengthen Indigenous youth suicide prevention, we will invest $34.1 million, including support for Indigenous leadership that delivers culturally appropriate, trauma-informed care as well as services that recognise the value of community, cultural artistic traditions and protective social factors. Our support includes $19.6 million for measures to prevent Indigenous youth suicide, particularly in the Kimberley.
  • We will invest $11.8 million in a range of initiatives to help parents recognise when their children are struggling, improve mental health skills training in schools, enhance peer support networks and boost counselling support services for young people.
  • We are also investing $15 million to create a new national information system. This will ensure communities and services can respond quickly to particular areas affected by a high incidence of suicide and self-harm.
  • Our support builds on $110 million to continue the Early Psychosis Youth Services program at selected headspace centres to provide specialist clinical services for young people at the early stages of severe mental illness.
  • We will deliver a $98.6 million mental health program in schools and a range of early intervention and prevention initiatives to provide young Australians with the tools and support they need to maintain the best possible mental health and wellbeing.
  • The Morrison Government is also working to ensure the mental health system is comprehensive and provides coordinated, holistic care. We are providing $114.5 million to trial eight new adult mental health centres to provide walk-in treatment and advice as a much needed alternative to hospital emergency departments. Regional communities will also have greater access to mental health services through new Medicare rebates for telehealth support.
  • We are providing $43.9 million for a new perinatal mental health program to support those affected by perinatal mental illness during or after pregnancy, or grieving after the death of an infant.
  • To ensure that all Australian workers can maintain mental health and get early support if needed, we are investing $11.5 million in a new National Mental Health Workplace Initiative. This will support workers and businesses – from sole traders to multinationals – to create supportive and healthy workplaces.
Supporting Australians through Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Australians are fortunate to have access to a world-class health system where every Australian cancer patient is able to receive the highest quality of care.

Each year 140,000 Australians receive a life changing cancer diagnosis. A strong economy enables the Morrison Government to invest in record support for public hospitals, access to precision diagnosis and lifesaving cancer treatment for free as well as breakthrough medicines and new revolutionary medical research.

We are investing more than $6 billion on cancer services each year and over $2.3 billion on PBS listed cancer medicines last year alone, one in every five dollars spent on the PBS.

We will dramatically expand access to MRI scans covered by Medicare through a $375 million investment and 99 per cent of out of hospital Medicare pathology services are free.

This will help keep the cost of health care down for families, and boost the fight against cancer and other serious conditions.

We are also providing access to ground-breaking treatments such as the CAR-T therapy Kymriah® for certain blood cancers through the public health system. This treatment has shown immense promise and could be a cure for some patients and will be extended to other conditions over the coming years.

To further support Australians with cancer we will invest significantly in cancer fighting infrastructure:

  • $80 million to establish the Peter MacCallum centre of excellence in cellular immunotherapy and CAR-T therapy.
  • $100 million for a Comprehensive Children’s Cancer Centre in Sydney.
  • $614 million over 10 years under the MRFF for rare cancer and rare diseases clinical trials - to use revolutionary medical science to find cures for patients.
  • Over $180 million per year in ground-breaking cancer research funding through the NHMRC.
  • $32.6 million for free breast MRI and PET scans which will benefit thousands of patients per year.
  • Australia has one of the most effective programs to beat cancer through vaccinations and early detection:
  • We have introduced a new vaccination which will protect against 90 per cent of HPV-related cervical cancer.
  • We have extended free mammograms for women between the age of 50 and 74 through BreastScreen.
  • We have expanded the bowel cancer screening program so that, by the end of 2019, all Australians aged 50-74 will receive a screening test kit. To encourage them to take the test, $10 million will be spent on a new awareness raising campaign.
  • We have extended support for prostate cancer nurses and through the McGrath Foundation breast cancer nurses to support Australian patients in most need including those in rural and regional areas.
  • We will invest $20 million in an anti-smoking campaign.
Preventative Health – Immunisation

Record levels of Australian children are now fully immunised, with more parents getting the message to protect their kids with life-saving vaccines.

Our No Jab, No Pay policy has been a success with around 210,000 extra children vaccinated and is backed by a further $12 million for a new immunisation information and education campaign.

To protect new-born babies, the whooping cough vaccine has been made available for pregnant women through an investment of $39.5 million. We have expanded access to the meningococcal vaccine providing protection against the ACWY strains through an investment of $52 million.

Preventative Health – Domestic Violence

Family and domestic violence has a profound impact on women and children’s health and wellbeing, families and communities and society. The Morrison Government has zero tolerance for violence against women and has committed over $840 million since 2013 to reduce and prevent family, domestic and sexual violence.

As part of this a ‘Recognise, Respond, Refer’ pilot, already underway in Brisbane, will receive a $7.5 million boost to be extended across five Primary Health Network regions to train GPs and their staff to recognise and manage family violence. A further $2.1 million training initiative will further improve the domestic violence response of GPs and primary care workers nationally.

Support for Patients with Diabetes

The Morrison Government is committed to working towards the broad prevention of diabetes in the Australian community – through research, medicines and by providing access to continuous glucose monitoring devices.

We have expanded free access to glucose monitoring devices for pregnant women, children and more adults with type 1 diabetes, saving Australians up to $7,000 a year. Our investment over the next four years will ensure that free glucose monitoring devices are available to over 37,000 eligible Australians with type 1 diabetes.

We will also invest $54.5 million for research that will give new hope and support for Australian children and adults living with type 1 diabetes.

Preventative Health – Blood Borne Virus and Sexually Transmitted Infections

A Morrison Government will invest $45.4 million to support the implementation of the next National Blood Borne Virus (BBV) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Strategies (2018-2022). This investment has been acknowledged as the greatest increase in funding to prevent, diagnose and treat STIs and BBVs in at least two decades.

We are able to provide record support for strategies and initiatives that are improving our collective efforts to prevent and address the impact of BBVs and STIs. This funding will support:

  • national awareness and prevention strategies to reduce the impact of BBVs, such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and STIs, with a specific focus on syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia.
  • projects that improve diagnosis and treatment options
  • health professional and community education
  • targeted assistance to diverse and vulnerable populations including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culturally and linguistically diverse people.

We have also provided $8 million to establish a taskforce to combat Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus-1 (HTLV-1) and other emerging communicable diseases in remote communities.

Drug Treatment and Prevention

To tackle drugs such as ice, the Morrison Government has committed more than $720 million over four years to reduce the impact of drug and alcohol misuse, with more than $544 million dedicated for treatment services.

We will continue to invest $450 million in the National Ice Action Strategy (NIAS) to help local communities, including funding for over 240 Local Drug Action Teams. We have also delivered an extra 471 local drug and alcohol services since 2016 based on community need.

We are investing $22.3 million to support more alcohol and other drug treatment and support services in remote, rural and regional areas; an additional 65 specialist service providers will operate after-hours and on weekends in under-serviced areas.

In addition, funding of $4.3 million will provide local support for families, communities and regions struggling with the impacts of illicit drug use.

We will also invest $7.2 million establishing a take-home naloxone program to help prevent deaths associated with opioids and other drugs.

Dental

The Morrison Government will invest $1 billion over three years to support eligible Australian children to continue to access core dental services and families to claim up to $1,000 in benefits under the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.

This is on top of the adult program, in which an extra $100 million has been invested to ensure low-income households, including pensioners, can receive affordable public dental care. It means an extra 180,000 services will be delivered at little or no cost to patients.

The extension of the National Partnership Agreement on dental health with the states and territories will deliver Australian Government funding of $350.3 million from January 2017 to 30 June 2020.

Women's and Men’s Health

The Morrison Government recently launched the Women's and Men’s Health Strategies for 2020-2030.

Our Women’s Health Strategy provides a $52 million investment in better women’s health with a significant focus on ovarian cancer and endometriosis.

We will invest $20 million in research to improve the survival rates for women with ovarian cancer and an additional $10 million to support women with endometriosis.

The new funding for endometriosis will raise awareness and support research to improve the treatment and understanding of this often misunderstood and crippling condition. This additional investment brings the total funding for endometriosis under the Morrison Government to almost $15 million.

We have also provided over $27 million in new funding for more McGrath Foundation Nurses for breast cancer, particulary to support patients in rural and regional areas.

In addition we are investing $32.6 million so breast cancer patients have life-saving MRI and PET scans covered under Medicare, saving patients up to $1,500 per scan.

We will also provide $43.9 million to support the mental health of expectant and new parents through a Perinatal Mental Health and Wellbeing Program. This will improve the services available to better support families affected by perinatal mental illness, or grieving after the death of a child.

Our Men’s Health Strategy provides more than $19 million to improve the health outcomes of all men and boys in Australia, particularly those battling cancer, mental health issues and loneliness. We are increasing funding to support 62 prostate cancer nurses. We are also providing the Men’s Sheds movement with over $11 million over 4 years to support their important work in local communities.

The Morrison Government is also providing $3.8 million for research to investigate the causes and prevention of male infertility which is estimated to affect one in six couples.

Indigenous Health

The Morrison Government will continue to make progress towards Closing the Gap in health outcomes between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and non-Indigenous Australians.

Funding of $4.1 billion over the next four years will improve access to health care through the Indigenous Australians Health Program.

We are working on ending avoidable blindness and deafness and improving renal health and access to dialysis.

A $160 million Indigenous Health Research Fund will deliver rapid solutions to some of the biggest preventable health challenges. $35 million has been committed to research and develop a vaccine for rheumatic heart disease, which could save thousands of lives.

We are focused also on increasing the Indigenous health workforce, so more people from local communities can provide health services.

Tragically, the suicide rate in Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander communities remains significantly higher than in the non-Indigenous population. We are addressing the high rate of youth suicide through our Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, which includes $34.1 million for Indigenous suicide prevention and mental health initiatives. Specifically $4.2 million has also been provided for the Young Indigenous Ambassadors, Yarn Safe Campaign, and a fast-tracked roll-out of the Be You program in the Kimberley.

In addition we will invest $12.5 million from the Million Minds Mission for research on the best approaches to prevent Indigenous suicide.

Landmark Rural Health Strategy

The Morrison Government is implementing the most comprehensive rural health package in decades, which will improve access to doctors, nurses and other health care services for all Australians, especially those in the regions.

We believe that people living in rural and regional Australia deserve the same access to high-quality healthcare services as those living in capital cities.

That is why we will invest $550 million for the Stronger Rural Health Strategy, which delivers 3,000 additional doctors and more than 3,000 additional nurses and allied health professionals in rural general practice over the next decade.

The Strategy also includes $84.1 million in additional funding for the Royal Flying Doctor Service to provide dental care, mental health services and emergency aeromedical services to rural and remote communities.

It also includes $94.5 million for a new Murray Darling Medical Schools Network which aims to increase the number of medical students training in rural areas, and increase the number of students who then go on to practice in regional and rural Australia.

An additional $26.6 million will accommodate longer transition arrangements for the changes to rural bulk billing incentives and the Workforce Incentive Program.

We will invest $62.2 million over five years from 2018-19 to implement a National Rural Generalist Pathway. This program will train specialised rural doctors to provide health services tailored to the needs of rural and remote communities and follows the expert advice of Australia’s first National Rural Health Commissioner.

Under the Morrison Government rural and remote patients are gaining additional access to general consultations through an extension of telehealth services with an investment of $33.5 million.

We are investing $12 million to expand the Heart of Australia mobile cardiology and health services in rural Queensland. This funding will support the ongoing service delivery of their two mobile specialist clinics and establish a third service for Northern Queensland and the Cape York Peninsula, bringing the total number of communities serviced by Heart of Australia across Queensland from 16 to 25.

We are investing $18 million to develop a world-class rural health and medical research facility in Orange NSW that will support the needs of rural communities throughout Australia.

The Institute for Regional, Rural and Remote Health and Medical Research will focus on addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health inequity, supporting ageing and aged care, improving child health, promoting consumer-driven rural health research, building clinical research capacity and improving health service delivery.

The Morrison Government will invest $100 million to establish the Rural and Regional Clinical Trials Infrastructure Program. Access and participation in clinical trials can be limited for doctors and patients in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia. The $100 million investment from the Medical Research Future Fund National Critical Infrastructure initiative will establish state of the art physical infrastructure and equipment to provide patients with hope and access to advanced treatment options regardless of where they live. This will also boost rural, regional and remote economies with direct industry investment in jobs.

We will also establish new regional cancer centres and drug and alcohol treatment facilities in regional communities such as Mount Gambier, Townsville, Batemans Bay, North West Tasmania, Grafton and Gladstone.

We will also provide additional mental health services and support for people affected by recent natural disasters. People living in Northern and Western Queensland impacted by the recent floods, those affected by the fires in Tasmania and drought affected farmers in the Gippsland region will receive access to additional mental health support including through telehealth with an investment of $26.9 million.

This complements work already under way in drought affected areas under the Government’s $21.9 million Empowering our Communities Program. These services will be delivered by local Primary Health Networks.

The Choice

The Cost

The Coalition’s plan for strengthening Australia’s world class health system will not place additional costs on the Budget. As at the 2019-20 Budget we have invested over $339 billion in the health system over the forward estimates.