The Genetic Support Network Victoria (GSNV) welcomes key healthcare initiatives and outcomes outlined within the 2023/24 Federal Budget that improves critical access and support to Australians living with chronic health issues, genetic, undiagnosed and rare conditions, their carers and families.
Key budget outcomes include:
- $3.5 billion investment to triple the bulk billing incentive, leading to more free GP consultations (for face-to-face and Telehealth services) for children under 16, pensioners and other Commonwealth concession card holders
- $2.2 billion over 5 years for new and amended listings to the PBS
- The ability for consumers to buy two months’ worth of 300+ medicines on a single trip to the local pharmacy. Reducing pharmacy and GP visits and prescription co‑payments, resulting in lower out-of-pocket costs
We welcome a budget that includes a health focus on primary care, however, note that there must be cooperation and agreed objectives to deliver these benefits across the primary healthcare network nationally. This must be reflected in the future National Health Reform Agreement.
We echo statements by Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, the AMA and Consumer Health Forum on the cost-saving outcomes the health reforms to Medicare and increased access to prescriptions of regular medicines will bring for vulnerable members of our community and importantly, lift the unnecessary financial burden placed on the existing cost of living pressures.
The Government’s continuing commitment to support vulnerable individuals and families through the NDIS is welcomed. We are concerned about the focus on containing the associated costs and support a responsible approach by the Government to ensure the scheme supports all who are entitled to the benefits and be transparent about decision-making.
Disappointingly, this budget doesn’t recognise the advances in precision healthcare and treatment that are also improving access to preventative and early intervention options. These are foundational building blocks for a healthy Australia and we look forward to a future focus on preventative and early intervention technologies, therapies and collaborative system implementation.
Quotes attributed to Monica Ferrie, CEO
- The GSNV recognises that people living with disabilities including genetic and rare diseases are disproportionally impacted by the cost-of-living crisis. Changes to medicine dispencing is a relief in reducing patient costs to access GPs and Pharmacy visits and offers convenience to many Australians and their support network.
- the GSNV recommends further engagement with the genetic, undiagnosed and rare disease community to identify and implement practice that improves health outcomes and the quality of life of patients, families and all health consumers.
- We continue to advocate for strategies that reduce the burden of cost for health consumers including greater access to cost-effective medications on the PBS that provide life-altering benefits.
For further information contact Daniele Noel, Communications Coordinator at email@example.com