COORDINARE applauds the Australian Government’s 2024-25 Budget

21 May 2024

COORDINARE has acknowledged the Albanese Government for its commitment to primary health care, aged care and the Strengthening Medicare initiative following the announcement of the 2024-25 Budget.

COORDINARE's CEO Prudence Buist said funding allocated for mental health services, workforce initiatives and Medicare Urgent Care Clinics will make a positive and impactful difference for those residing in South Eastern NSW.

“To increase equity of access to primary health care services, our PHN has been working continuously with general practitioners, health professionals, service providers and the community to identify and fill gaps,” said Ms Buist.

Key budget initiatives - What’s in it for Primary care?

  • $227 million to increase the number of Medicare Urgent Care Clinics by 29 to 87, enabling more patients to receive fully-bulk billed urgent care from GPs or nurses in more locations (locations to be decided).
  • $361 million boost over four years to the range of free mental health services, including funding for 61 walk-in Medicare Mental Health Centres, building on the established Head to Health network. The centres will provide free, walk-in access to a psychologist or psychiatrist for adults with complex and high mental health needs.
  • $588.5 million for a new free, national early intervention mental health service
  • $71.7 million to fund Primary Health Networks to work in partnership with general practice to provide mental health nurses and other allied health workers, for free wraparound care and support to patients with complex needs, in between GP and specialist appointments.
  • $29.7 million over three years to improve child and youth mental health services through uplifting workforce capability and co-designing new models of care.
  • $6m to provide outreach health care in women’s crisis accommodation and services to support women and children fleeing family, domestic and sexual violence.
  • $127.8 million in new services on the MBS and changes to existing services to ensure all Medicare eligible patients have access to safe and clinically relevant services with appropriate rebates. This includes $49.1 million for longer gynaecology consultations for patients who have complex needs including endometriosis, and $56.5 million for eligible midwives to provide longer consultations before and after the birth of a child.
  • Extension of Single Employer Model trials until December 2028 to attract and retain GPs in areas of workforce need.
  • $17.4 million to support health services at risk of closing.
  • $882.2 million for hospital outreach services in the community and more virtual care services, so older Australians will get the health care and support they need in a safe and comfortable environment (eg residential aged care facility) when it isn’t necessary for them to stay in hospital.
  • From 1 August 2024, people in residential aged care will be more likely to receive quality and continuous care from a GP, with GPs and practices eligible to receive quarterly incentive payments, on top of Medicare rebates, to manage the health of their MyMedicare registered residents (General Practice in Aged Care Incentive).
  • $38.8 million for people aged 45 to 49 to join already eligible 50 to 74-year-olds in screening for bowel cancer by requesting a free test kit.
  • $598.9 million for the continuation of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Program to enable vaccinations to prevent severe COVID-19 disease.
  • Students in nursing, midwifery and social work will benefit from the establishment of a Commonwealth Prac Payment to support them while they undertake mandatory placements.

The Health budget stakeholder pack can be found here.