In Focus
HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Australia

Australia's budget hits record-high of A$15.3b amidst elderly care demand

The government aims to have more seniors receive elderly care at their homes.

Australia’s expanding elderly population has prompted the FY2019/20 federal budget to give away a record funding of AU$21.6b (US$15.3b), representing more than a 50% jump since FY2013/14, according to Fitch Solutions.

The funding aims to have more seniors remain at home rather than enter aged care facilities with an additional 10,000 home care packages. The government also aims to strengthen its publicly funded universal health care system, Medicare, by making it more accessible.

“In introducing these funding proposals, the government proposes to take immediate action to improve the safety and quality standards across the aged care industry,” Fitch noted.

Furthermore, AU$5b (US$3.5b) will be dedicated to the Medical Research Future Fund Ten Year Investment Plan to broaden the sector’s R&D for improving patient care and increasing access to clinical trials.

Last 2 April, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered the FY2019/20 (July-June) federal budget stating that budget allocation on healthcare will jack up over the coming years. The total spending for FY2019/20 is AU$81.8b (US$58.2b) or 16.3% of total expenses, then it would reach AU$89.5b (US$63.7b) in 2023.

Other key initiatives from ite healthcare spending include the Pharmaceuticals Benefit Scheme (PBS) aimed at improving the affordability of medicine and funding to deliver services for people living with mental illness.

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