AMA Pre-Budget Submission 2022-23

Federal Budget must deliver for the four pillars of the health system

The AMA Pre-Budget Submission 2022-23 calls for urgent and significant investment across the four pillars of preventative health, primary care, public hospitals, and private healthcare. Each chapter is backed by research to provide full costed and implementable solutions.  

Chapter 1: Public hospitals in crisis 

The current funding model for our health system is not fit for purpose. It’s only focused on the number of procedures that hospitals provide. It doesn’t adequately account for the fact that Australia’s population is growing, ageing, and developing more complex health needs. Nor does it provide enough funding to keep people out of hospital through preventative and community care.  

Chapter 1 of the AMA Pre-Budget Submission 2022-23 draws on the AMA research report Public hospitals: cycle of crisis calls for $20.5 billion across four years to create a more equitable 50-50 funding share between the Commonwealth and states and territories, and to remove the existing 6.5% cap on funding growth. It also calls for additional partnership hospital funding to be provided to improve performance, expand capacity, and address avoidable admissions. 

Chapter 2: A tax on sugar-sweetened beverages 

As part of Australia’s prevention agenda, Chapter 2 of the AMA Pre-Budget Submission 2022-23 calls for a tax on sugary soft drinks to help tackle obesity and other preventable chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers. Our research, further detailed in the AMA’s A tax on sugar-sweetened beverages research report suggests that it will reduce consumption of these drinks by 31 per cent by 2025-26, and result in government revenue of $2.8 billion across the four years which could be used for further preventative health activities.  

Chapter 3: Private healthcare 

Leveraging the work undertaken in the AMA’s Prescription for Private Health, Chapter 3 of the AMA Pre-Budget Submission 2022-23 provides a roadmap to improving value and affordability, as well as restoring consumer confidence in private health insurance. A key component of this roadmap is the establishment of an independent authority to oversee the private health system and create a platform for the once-in-a-generation reforms that are required to ensure the future viability of private healthcare in Australia. 

Chapter 4: Preventative healthcare 

General practice is the cornerstone of our health system. But it is not funded to deliver the care that Australians need. Chapter 4 of the AMA Pre-Budget Submission 2022-23 calls for additional investment in general practice, so patients can spend more time with their trusted GPs, access more care under one roof, and be better supported – whether they live with chronic wounds, are in a residential aged care facility, or require care afterhours.  

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