Medical services in rural and remote areas
Financial assistance is proposed to be increased for the Royal Flying Doctor Service to improve the delivery and availability of dental, mental health and emergency aeromedical services in rural and remote areas.
This is part of measures to achieve stronger rural, regional and remote health outcomes by aligning the distribution of the health workforce to areas of greatest need and building the capability of Australia’s medical practitioner workforce.
National immunisation program
Certain vaccines are proposed to be listed on the National Immunisation Program from 1 July 2018. Vaccinations introduced on the list include those to prevent whooping cough in pregnant women, influenza in people aged over 65, and the prevention of meningococcal in children.
Access to aged care at home
The Government proposes to increase the number of high-level home care packages by 14,000 over four years. It will be introduced over four years from 2018-19. The intention is to support the choice of older Australians who wish to stay at home and avoid going into residential care.
New listings on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS)
The Government has introduced new and amended listings on the PBS, including Spinraza for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy. Changes will apply over various dates from 1 January to 1 July 2018.
The medicines are intended to treat or prevent spinal muscular atrophy, breast cancer, refractory multiple myeloma, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis or HIV.
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