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A boost for health

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Funding for the GP Rural Incentive Program

If you have been thinking of making a tree change, then the coming financial year could be the time to do it. The government will make a further $33.8 million investment into the General Practice Rural Incentives Program in 2013-14 to encourage medical practitioners to move to regional and remote communities.

DisabilityCare Australia

As announced in the lead-up to the Budget, the National Disability Insurance Scheme – DisabilityCare Australia – will be rolled out at a cost of $19.3 billion over seven years. To help fund this, the Medicare levy will be raised by 0.5% to 2% from 1 July 2014.

Extra funding for cancer screening and research

Cancer care and research has received a boost, with $226 million allocated to various programs.

BreastScreen Australia will receive $92.2 million over four years to help expand the target age range for screening. The McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse initiative will be provided with $19.5 million over four years to continue and expand the program to support Regional Cancer Centres.

More than $16 million has been granted to bowel cancer screening over the next four years, with $18.5 million over four years dedicated to a new Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre.

Changes to the PBS, Medicare Safety Net and Medicare Benefits Schedule

The government will spend an extra $2.2 billion in the Medicare Benefits Schedule across five years.

 New medicines to help in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, chronic nerve pain and chronic hepatitis C will be included in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, which will receive $691 million over five years.

The Medicare Safety Net will also be increased, from $1,221.90 to $2,000 from 1 January 2015.

Abolition of the net medical expenses tax offset

The net medical expenses tax offset (NMETO) has been phased out in a move to help fund DisabilityCare Australia. This change will take effect from 1 July 2013, with some transitional provisions in place.

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