Boost to mental health, GPs in Budget 2019

Federal Budget 2019: Health gets $104 billion


Funding will also flow to health support for those in flood and drought-affected areas.


Mental health support and rural GPs are winners in the federal government's 2019-20 budget.

The government is investing a record $104 billion in health in 2019-20 as part of a patient-focused investment of $435b over the next four years.

Mental health will receive $737 million, with the Headspace program benefiting to the tune of $375m which includes $111.3m over five years for 10 new centres and 20 new satellite services.

There will be $152m to reduce wait times, $2m for a Young Ambassadors program, and $110m to continue the Early Psychosis Youth Service at 14 centres.

More alcohol and other drug treatment and support services will be established in regional, rural and remote areas at a cost of $9.6m and $4.3m will be spent expanding the Rural Health Outreach Fund to reduce prescription opioid use.

Following on from the Government's $550 million investment from the 2018-19 budget in the Stronger Rural Health Strategy, it will implement a National Rural Generalist Pathway.

About $62m is allocated over five years as part of a $1.1 billion investment to strengthen primary care and assist rural generalists to meet the needs of rural communities.

Those affected by floods in North Queensland can to access a mobile cardiology service with $12m across three years in further funding to Heart of Australia from July 1, 2019.

From March to June 30 time-limited Medicare Benefits Schedule times for telehealth services are available for those living in flood-affected communities in Queensland experiencing restricted access to GPs.

This initiative expands access under the previously announced measure, and from November 1, 2019, those living in rural and remote areas are able to access GP services via telehealth general consultations at an estimated cost of $33.5m over four years.

An additional $2.5m will be provided under the Empowering our Communities initiative over two years to fund mental health support for drought-affected farmers and families in the Gippsland region of Victoria.

Northern and western Queensland receive $3m to bolster mental health services to disaster affected communities. This includes on the ground support to enable a surge response team to help those affected by the floods.


The Morrison Government will provide $448.5 million over three years from 2020-21 for the primary care/chronic care funding model to support more flexible care models, $12m over three years from 2019-20 will extend and enhance the reach of the current Childhood Immunisation Education Campaign, bringing the funding to $20m over six years.

There will be an additional $153.3m over two years from 2020-21 for the National Ice Action Strategy ensuring access to critical treatment, prevention, research and data improvement and information services is maintained.

A total of nine additional MRI licences will be provided at a cost of $42.5m over five years from 2018-19 for regional areas. This will build on the Government's earlier investment of $47m for eight regional licences, announced previously over the same period.

Rural and regional Australians will benefit from $45.5m in funding for new regional cancer treatment centres.

From this financial year (2018-19) the government will provide $62.2m over five years for the implementation of a National Rural Generalist Pathway. This is to provide a training pathway to get nationally recognised skills to allow rural generalists to deliver heath care in rural, remote and regional communities.

During the same period the government will provide $201.5m to the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) to support general practice activities which encourage improvement and quality care. In 2018-19 there were 11 incentives under the program. From 2019-20 this measure will see the end of the four existing PIP incentives and the creation of a new PIP Quality Improvement incentive.


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