(For up to date information about the Government’s response to COVID-19, visit: www.australia.gov.au)

The Government has committed over $21 billion as part of the Government’s ongoing health response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Around 9,000 new ventilators have been delivered and Australia’s National Medical Stockpile has been boosted with millions of masks, gowns, goggles, and ventilators.

The Morrison Government has worked with the states to triple the capacity of hospital intensive care units.

We have extended Medicare subsidised telehealth services, enabling more than 50 million consultations since the crisis began.

Over 550 COVID-19 clinics have opened, including up to 150 GP-led respiratory clinics.

Over 15 million COVID-19 tests have been conducted.

Australia’s extensive testing, contact tracing and ability to control local outbreaks, along with social distancing and good hygiene and the vaccine rollout, are the key to staying on top of this virus.

The Government has secured access to more than 150 million doses of vaccines for COVID‑19.

We are acting on all six recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The Government will continue to back our health system, by guaranteeing record levels of funding for hospitals, medicines and Medicare.

RECORD HOSPITAL INVESTMENT

Federal funding for public hospitals will more than double compared to Labor – $13.3 billion in 2012-13 to $29.9 billion in 2024-25.

This means record numbers of hospital services, doctors and nurses.

RECORD BULK BILLING

More Australians are now seeing their doctor without having to pay. Nearly 9 out

of 10 visits are now free.

The GP bulk billing rate was 89.3% in 2020, compared to 81.9% in Labor’s last year (2012-13).

In total, there were 440 million Medicare services last year, with $25.9 billion in total benefits paid.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have extended Medicare subsidised telehealth services, enabling more than 50 million consultations since the crisis began.

NEW MEDICINES

Since we came into government, over 2,550 new or amended listings, worth around $12.4 billion, have been approved for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

These help people suffering from cancer, heart disease, epilepsy, spinal muscular atrophy and severe asthma.

Some of these medicines cost thousands of dollars, but are now available for $6.60 (concessional) or $41.30 (general patients) per script.

BETTER ACCESS TO LIFE-SAVING SCANS

Our Government is providing $375 million for more than 50 additional Medicare-eligible MRI machines, enabling more Australians to access scans for cancer, stroke, heart and other conditions.

And for the first time, Medicare will cover the cost of MRI and PET scans for breast cancer patients. This will improve diagnosis and treatment.

SIMPLER, MORE AFFORDABLE PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE

We have taken steps to make private health insurance simpler and more affordable.

Reforms have resulted in the lowest premium changes in 20 years (2.74% in 2021).

MEDICAL RESEARCH

The Liberal and Nationals Government established the Medical Research Future Fund to provide long term, sustainable funding for research.

Over the next four years, our Government is ensuring record funding of $6 billion for medical research.

MENTAL HEALTH

The Government’s total commitment to mental health support is $5.9 billion this year, including funding for critical front line services and suicide prevention.

Around 10 million Medicare subsidised mental health services were delivered in 2020.

The last Budget doubles the number of Medicare subsidised psychological services available through the Better Access Initiative, from 10 to 20.

More funding is being provided for Lifeline, headspace, Beyond Blue and Kids Helpline.

IMMUNISATION

Our No Jab, No Pay policy means parents must immunise their children (unless there is a valid medical exemption) to receive child care and family payments.

The immunisation rate for five year old children is over 95% – the highest on record.

All 12 and 13-year-old girls and boys now have free access to the Gardasil 9 Vaccine, to protect them from the HPV virus.

This will protect Australians from cervical and other cancers and save lives.

The Government is providing the whooping cough vaccine to all pregnant women.

RURAL AND REGIONAL HEALTH

Australians living in rural and regional Australia have access to new services including new regional cancer centres and telehealth services.

Our Stronger Rural Health Strategy is delivering 3,000 more doctors and over 3,000 extra nurses and allied health professionals over the next decade.

DRUG TREATMENT AND PREVENTION

To tackle the scourge of ICE, we will continue to invest over $800 million over the next four years, including through our National Ice Action Strategy.

This includes funding that has supported over 240 Local Drug Action Teams in communities across Australia.

We’ve also delivered an additional 605 local drug and alcohol services since 2016.

SUPPORT FOR PATIENTS WITH DIABETES

Our Government has 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.

HELPING TO END TRANSMISSION OF HIV

The Liberal and Nationals Government has taken a critical step in helping to end the transmission of HIV.

People at medium to high risk of HIV infection now have access to Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Information current as at March 2021