For up to date information about the Government’s response to COVID-19, visit: www.australia.gov.au)
Australia’s health response to COVID-19 has been world leading.
Australia has one of the lowest fatality rates from COVID-19 in the world, with death rates in the USA and the UK around 10 times higher.
By avoiding the rate of death that other comparable countries have had, Australia has saved tens of thousands.
Australia has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, ranking 5th amongst advanced economies.
Over 56 million vaccine doses have been administered and more than 95% of Australians aged 16 and older are now fully vaccinated.
The Government committed over $45 billion to the vaccine rollout and our health system in response to COVID-19.
This included the delivery of 9,000 new ventilators and boosting Australia’s National Medical Stockpile with millions of masks, gowns, goggles and ventilators.
We provided better access to healthcare with the introduction of Telehealth. Since the start of the pandemic, over 100 million Telehealth consultations have been provided and Telehealth has now been made permanent.
Over 66 million COVID-19 PCR tests have been conducted – one of the highest testing rates in the world.
To ensure we protect vulnerable Australians, while transitioning to living with COVID-19, we have invested a further $2.1 billion in the Winter Response Plan. This includes a further 161 million units of PPE and 26 million Rapid Antigen Tests distributed to residential aged care facilities.
The Government will continue to back our health system, by guaranteeing record levels of funding for hospitals, medicines, aged care and Medicare.
The Coalition Government has committed to a five-year $18.8 billion plan to improve aged care, with new home care packages, respite services, training places, retention bonuses and infrastructure upgrades.
Under this plan, 40,000 home care packages, over 48,000 additional training places, 7,000 new personal care workers and 8,400 respite services will be rolled out this year.
There are now 233,000 people with access to a home care package, and 275,000 places will be available by 2023.
This year’s Budget provides more than $345 million to embed pharmacy services within residential aged care facilities to improve medication management for the elderly.
RECORD HOSPITAL INVESTMENT
Federal funding for public hospitals has already doubled – from $13.3 billion under Labor (in 2012-13) to $27.2 billion (in 2022-23). With our five year hospital agreements it is due to increase to $30.7 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.
The GP bulk billing rate last year (12 months to June 2021) was 88.8%, up from 82.2% in 2012-13 (Labor’s last year in government).
More than 152.2 million bulk billed GP services were delivered in 2020-21 – 46.4 million more than in 2012-13.
In total, more than $27 billion in total Medicare benefits were paid in 2020-21. This will grow to $30.9 billion in 2021-22.
The Morrison Government has made Medicare subsidised telehealth services permanent, enabling over 100 million (as at April 2022) consultations since the pandemic began.
Since we came into government, more than 2,900 new or amended medicine listings worth $16.5 billion have been added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
These medicines help people suffering from cancer, heart disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and chronic migraines.
Some of these cost thousands of dollars, but are now available for $6.80 (concessional) or $42.50 (general patients) per script.
In the recent Budget, our Government has secured access to more affordable medicines, including treatment for breast cancer, asthma, cystic fibrosis, and spinal muscular atrophy.
We have also listed COVID-19 treatments on the PBS to help prevent vulnerable Australians from developing severe illness.
In the 2022 Budget, we provided greater access to cheaper medicines for 2.4 million Australians with fewer scripts needed for free or further discounted medicines.
And to further reduce costs, a re-elected Morrison Government will also lower the PBS Medicines General Co-payment from 1 January 2023 by $10 per script.
This means the maximum price Australians will pay for PBS medicines drops from $42.50 down to $32.50 per script, a 24 per cent saving. Concession card holders pay only $6.80 per script.
This is the first time the PBS Medicine General Co-payment has been reduced by any Government and will benefit the more than 19 million Australians.
BETTER ACCESS TO LIFE-SAVING SCANS
Our Government has invested $375 million for more than 50 additional Medicare-eligible MRI machines, enabling more Australians to access scans for cancer, stroke, heart and other conditions.
We’re now building on this with a further $66 million to deregulate access to Medicare funded MRI services in rural and regional Australia. This will increase access to subsidised, clinically-necessary MRI services putting downward pressure on out-of-pocket costs to consumers and reduce the need to travel for these diagnostic scans.
For the first time, Medicare is covering the cost of MRI and PET scans for breast cancer patients – improving diagnosis and treatment.
We will make new treatments and tests available through Medicare including whole of population genetic testing including for cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and fragile X syndrome (FXS) for couples who are planning pregnancy or who are already pregnant, to support family planning.
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 21 years (2.7% in 2022).
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 $6.8 billion for medical research.
Since 2013, the Coalition has more than doubled our investment in health and medical research.
We are committed to safeguarding the wellbeing of Australians by boosting mental health support with $6.8 billion in 2022-23, including funding for critical front line services and suicide prevention.
The Government has nearly doubled funding for mental health since 2013, from $3.3 billion.
The Government has doubled 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.
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.
Children 5 years and older now have access to a free COVID-19 vaccine.
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 also 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, the Morrison Government will invest more than $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
The Morrison Government will expand eligibility for the Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices to every Australian with Type 1 diabetes from 1 July 2022.
This means that every Australian with Type 1 diabetes, approximately 130,000 people, will have access to a potentially life-saving CGM device, which could cost up to $5,000 per year without subsidy.
Our Government established the Continuous Glucose Monitoring Scheme in 2017.
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 May 2022