AMA advocacy rewarded in budget

4 Apr 2019

The 2019 Federal Budget has delivered almost $1 billion for general practice, much of it a result of AMA advocacy.

“The Health Minister, Greg Hunt, has listened closely to the AMA and delivered a strong Health Budget, with a particular emphasis on primary care, led by general practice,” AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said.

“Australia’s hardworking GPs will be happy to see a commitment of almost $1 billion to general practice. This includes matching Labor’s promise to bring forward by a year the lifting of the freeze on rebates for a range of Medicare GP items, such as GP Management Plans, Health Assessments and procedural items.

“Overall, the Government has delivered a much-needed significant investment to general practice – the driving force of quality primary health care in Australia.”

The GP package includes:

  • $448.5 million to improve continuity of care for patients over 70 with chronic conditions;
  • $201.5 millionfor Quality Incentive Payments for general practices;
  • $62.2 million for rural generalist training; and
  • $187.2 million for lifting of the freeze on GP items.

The AMA also welcomes:

  • Funding for new Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS) medicines;
  • Retention of the Aged Care Access Incentive (ACAI); and
  • A rural workforce program.

Dr Bartone said that the Budget announcements indicate that health policy will be a major issue for the upcoming election. The AMA will ensure that the commitments in the Budget are followed through by both parties regardless of the election outcome.

Read the full media release here.

Read the AMA Pre-Budget Submission 2019-20.