Federal Budget 2018: $1.3b plan to make Australia a medical technology leader

Last night’s 2018 Federal budget saw a raft of funding and exciting initiatives aimed at further supporting Australia’s position as a global medical technology leader. Here’s how:

Supporting Medical Research

A 21st Century Medical Industry Growth Plan will deliver $1.3 billion to support Australia as a global health industry leader in medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals while improving health outcomes for all Australians through investments in medical innovation.

The Growth Plan includes a landmark ten–year $500 million commitment to the Genomics Health Futures Mission. A further $707 million in funding from the Medical Research Future Fund will be provided to support the Frontier Health and Medical Research program, expanded clinical trials, Biomedtech programs and Industry Researcher Collaborations.

The Government is investing around $2.4 billion over 12 years in boosting Australia’s research, science and technology capabilities to build a smarter economy and give Australians the skills they need to prosper.

A $1.9 billion investment in research infrastructure over 12 years will support Australia’s world–class research sector which has made breakthroughs like a new needle–free way to deliver vaccines and the cervical cancer vaccine.

Record levels of public hospital funding

A new public hospital agreement will deliver more than $30 billion in additional funding between 2020‑21 and 2024‑25 — a 30 per cent increase over the previous five years.The Government is providing record levels of funding for public hospitals, ensuring Australians have access to high-quality health care.

Record public hospitals funding

Guaranteeing Medicare and new medicines

Australians can be assured that funding for the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is guaranteed through the Government legislated Medicare Guarantee Fund.

For 2017‑18, $34.4 billion has been credited to the Fund. A further credit of $35.3 billion will be made to meet estimated MBS and PBS expenditure for 2018‑19.

This Budget includes $1.4 billion for new and amended listings on the PBS, including medicines to treat spinal muscular atrophy, breast cancer, relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis and a new medicine to prevent HIV.

 Investing more in medicines

Healthy and Active Australians

The Government is providing further support for Australians with mental illness, including providing $33.8 million to Lifeline Australia to enhance its telephone crisis services and funding for beyondblue and the Way Back Support Service.

The Government will provide $20.9 million to improve the health of women and children in their first 2,000 days of life.

Funding of $154.3 million will support Australians to take up healthier and more active lifestyles, including participating in community sport.

This spend will drive a new era in healthcare for Australia.

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