Federal Budget 2022-2023

Last night the Federal Government released Budget 2022-23. In this Issue we summarise the relevant announcements.

The Government is investing $537 billion over the next four years in the Health, Aged Care and Sport portfolios, up $34 billion compared to last year’s Budget. The 2022/23 allocation is $132 billion.

Australia’s Long Term National Health Plan guides investments in primary care, mental health, hospitals, preventive health, and medical research. To support this, the budget allocates a $9.8 billion increase in hospital funding and a $7.3 billion increase in Medicare funding.

Hospital Funding

Under the National Health Reform Agreement, $149.8 billion will be allocated over five years. Hospital funding is set to be $28.1 billion in the 2022–23 Budget, an increase of $9.8 billion since the 2021/22 budget. Funding is set to reach $32.7 billion a year in 2025–26.

The Federal Government is contributing $375.6 million to establish a Western Australian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, with the WA Government to also contribute funding. This will enable integrated cancer services and onsite cancer laboratories.

Medicare

$133 billion is expected to be spent on Medicare, including $31.4 billion in 2022/23, an increase of $7.3 billion compared to the 2021/22 Budget.

$1.7 billion will be spent towards the objectives of the Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan including permanently establishing telehealth and lowering PBS safety net thresholds. Within this plan sits the 10 Year Stronger Rural Health Strategy and allocations have been made for two new rural health university departments in WA and national expansion of the rural training program.

In pathology, $81.2 million will be allocated for genetic testing for cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy and fragile X syndrome, following excellent work done by NSW Health Pathology and others.

New items will be established for diagnosis of neuromuscular disorders including cascade testing family members and partners.

Two new co-dependent pathology items for genetic testing of BRCA1/2 pathogenic gene variants in people with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer to help determine eligibility for PBS Olaparib will commence from 1 April 2022 with a MBS fee of $1000.

$3.9 million will be allocated to a redesigned Quality Use of Diagnostics, Therapeutics and Pathology (QUDTP) Program. This expands the program to all areas of medicine and brings it under the auspices of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

COVID

Since the pandemic began the Federal Government has spent $45 billion on health measures. The Federal Government has spent more than $9.9 billion though the National Partnership Agreement to date.

The budget allocates a further $4.2 billion for COVID response, with the majority going to States/Territories for COVID testing and treatment, vaccination and catch up elective surgery. This falls under the National Partnership Agreement which has been extended to 30 September 2022.

$546 million has also been allocated for COVID MBS PCR tests. This sees a continuation of the existing public and private MBS Item numbers for COVID tests until 30 September 2022.

Rapid COVID testing for 150 remote Indigenous communities will be continued at a cost of $9.3 million.

Rapid Antigen Tests will be supplied to residential aged care facilities (in addition to funding for PCR tests), GP-led respiratory clinics, supported independent living care and school and early childhood centres.

Prevention

The Government will spend $30.1 million to continuing to deliver the National Preventative Health Strategy 2021-30.   This includes funding to continue core activities under the 5 National Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections (STI) Strategies 2018-2022 to eliminate HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs as public health threats by 2030.

$28.1 million has been allocated to establish Genomics Australia over three years to support the implementation of genomics as a standard of healthcare in Australia.

$26.9 million has been allocated to improve the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of allergic diseases through a National Allergy Council and National Allergy Centre of Excellence.  Work will also occur to improve access to allergy diagnostics and new MBS items for food and drug challenge testing.

$700,000 will also be spent on updating the Prostate Specific Antigen Testing and Early Management of Test-Detected Prostate Cancer clinical guidelines.

$2.1 million aimed at early detection and better management of sepsis including targeted training and data collection.

$59 million has been allocated for the response to the Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) including funding for surveillance activities and $3.5 million for essential supplies to ensure sustained laboratory capacity and capability to test for JEV in humans.

$5 million has been allocated to expand and reinvigorate the Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Diseases Emergencies Network.

Funding has also been allocated for a communications campaign dedicated to ensuring people are up to date with their health checks.

The following cervical screening announcements were made:

  • $5.9 million for rapid cervical screening testing and follow up for vulnerable groups including ATSI communities.
  • $4.1 million for a pilot of non-medical healthcare provider delivery of cervical screening with laboratories still able to claim MBS for testing.
  • $10.2 million for a cervical cancer screening campaign to prompt self-collect tests.

Digital Health

$72 million will be spent to modernise Australia’s health system including the Commonwealth funding half of a $64.5 million investment in the 2018-22 Intergovernmental Agreement on National Digital Health to improve interoperability within Australia’s national digital health infrastructure.  Work will also be undertaken to modernise the Medicare provider number registration process.

Medical Research

A $6.8 billion investment in medical research was announced from the following funding sources:

  • $3.7 billion for the National, Health and Medicare Research Council
  • $2.6 billion for the Medical Research Future Fund
  • $500 million for the Biomedical Translation Fund.

Areas of investment focus on prevention and public health research, clinical trials, medical research commercialisation and primary health research.

Quick Links

Click for all the Federal Health Budget papers

Click for the Budget at a Glance

Click for the Minister’s media statement