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Increased funding for hospitals and health care and changes to Chronic Diseases Dental Scheme

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The federal government’s budget included several measures aimed at improving the health system:

  • $16.4 billion over six years in additional hospital growth funding guaranteed to the states from 2014–2015

  • $2.2 billion over five years for national mental health reform

  • $717 million to expand access to diagnostic imaging services and to make medicines more affordable

  • $53 million to improve access to public dental services, particularly for people on low incomes

  • $1.8 billion over six years in critical regional health infrastructure under the Health and Hospitals Fund regional priority round

  • $52.6 million over four years to introduce a voluntary dental internship year. Up to 50 voluntary dental internship places will be funded each year, commencing in 2013

  • The above measure seems to replace the Chronic Diseases Dental Scheme, “Denticare”. Details are still coming through but this could have a big impact on the income of Dentists.

A close analysis of the budget papers is necessary to determine what is new health spending and what is a continuation or amendment of measures already in place. Generally, however, the measures announced are aimed at improving and simplifying access to services for those most in need – especially in the mental health area.

Sources: - “Budget at a Glance” - Budget Papers No. 2 – Expense Measures – Health and Aging

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