Joint Media Release with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister Anne Ruston
Saving diabetes patients thousands of dollars each year, boosting record investments in health research and making even more medicines cheaper for more patients are key to a re-elected Morrison Government’s plans to secure the future of the healthcare system.
The plan grows funding for the health portfolio from $132 billion in 2022-23, to $140 billion in 2025-26, guarantees Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), delivers more health services, expands Australian medical research and ensures we can make the best investments for health in Australia, now and into the future.
A new centrepiece of the pillars of the plan is a $273.1 million commitment to cut the cost of Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) to support an additional 71,000 Australians with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). This investment is in addition to the $300 million currently being invested and means all 130,000 Australians of all ages with T1D have access to the CGM initiative.
Under the changes announced today, an additional 71,000 Australians will have access to CGM and Flash Glucose Monitoring devices under the National Diabetes Support Scheme from 1 July 2022 for a maximum of $32.50 each month, equivalent to the cost they would already be incurring when using blood glucose test strips. People who meet the existing eligibility criteria such as people under 21, concession card holders and pregnant women will continue to receive unchanged, fully subsidised access to CGM products.
This means that every Australian with Type 1 diabetes will have access to a potentially life-saving Government funded CGM device, which could cost up to $5,000 per year without subsidy.
Prime Minster Scott Morrison said a strong economy meant guaranteed funding for a healthcare system that could change the lives of patients like the T1D community.
“Type 1 Diabetes is an insidious condition that cannot be prevented and costs Australians thousands of dollars each year,” the Prime Minister said.
“Our plan for a strong economy means we can invest in life changing equipment for diabetes patients and make more medicines cheaper for more Australians.
“This commitment means making it easier for T1D sufferers to go about their everyday lives. My Government is committed to making medicines and medical devices affordable for all Australians who need them.”
Health Minister Greg Hunt thanked members of the T1D community and groups such as the JDRF Australia, Diabetes Australia and the DANII Foundation for their work.
“Our Government has a proud track record of providing access to medicines and medical devices that save lives and protect lives,” Minister Hunt said.
“Over the past 2 years, we have worked closely with the T1D community to understand their needs and appreciate how vital these products are to people.
“Today’s announcement is a tribute to the tireless advocacy of these groups and the broader T1D community.”
It is estimated over 18,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in Australia in 2021. One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85. From next month, Australians with prostate cancer will have access to Erlyand® (apalutamide), which will be listed on the PBS for the first time for the treatment of people with non-metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer.
Without PBS subsidy, patients might pay more than $40,000 per year of treatment.
Empliciti® (elotuzumab) will also be listed on the PBS for the first time for the treatment of relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma for use in combination with medicines lenalidomide and dexamethasone. Myeloma is a type of cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Representing Australia’s third most common blood cancer after lymphoma and leukaemia, approximately 18,000 Australians are living with multiple myeloma at any given time.
Without PBS subsidy, an average of 230 patients each year might pay more than $145,000 per course of treatment,
These treatment will now be available on the PBS for a maximum of $42.50 per script, or as little as $6.80 with a concession card.
Since 2013, the Australian Government has approved more than 2,900 new or amended listings on the PBS, this represents an overall investment by the Government of $16.5 billion.
This is a stark contrast to Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party, who when last in Government stopped listing essential medicines and treatments on the PBS, slashed funding for mental health support and tried to rip funding out of medical research.
While we invest in these life altering medications, the Morrison Government will also invest an extra $172.9 million in Australian researchers as part of a $6.8 billion initiative to support their work on the next generation of medical breakthroughs.
The Coalition Government established the landmark $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) which has so far funded 722 projects.
The Coalition’s Health plan outlines how our Government will not only ensure, but expand our world-leading healthcare system, delivering the services Australians rely on.
Under our Government:
- Medicare funding has grown from $19 billion in 2012-13 to $31.4 billion in 2022-23, growing to $35.5 billion in 2025-26
- The GP Medicare bulk billing rate is a record 88.8 per cent, up from 82.2 per cent under Labor. This means nearly nine in 10 visits to the doctor are free.
- Permanent and universal telehealth has been introduced, with more than 100 million new telehealth services to over 17 million people since March 2020.
- Since coming to office, our Government has doubled funding for public hospitals from $13.3 billion in 2012-13 to $27.2 billion in 2022-23, growing to an estimated $32.7 billion in 2025-26.
The Prime Minister also said Senator Anne Ruston would be appointed as Minister for Health and Aged Care in a re-elected Coalition Government to deliver on the plan to secure Australia’s world class health system.
“Anne’s experience as a senior Minister managing a complex portfolio touching millions of lives makes her the right pick to help guide Australia’s health system out of the pandemic,” the Prime Minister said.
“Anne has been an important part of my Expenditure Review Committee and a strong advocate for women’s safety and health including working closely on recent initiatives to tackle endometriosis.
“I know she’ll bring that ability to understand complex issues, and her compassion to the health portfolio.
“I would like to thank Greg Hunt once again not just for the way he has helped ensure Australia has one of the lowest death rates from COVID and highest vaccination rates, but also for his years of advocacy in the portfolio on mental health, making telehealth permanent and delivering a record number of medicines listings on the PBS.
“I look forward to working with Anne in her new role as our government delivers on our plan for a stronger future for all Australians.”
Senator Ruston said it was an honour to be named as the Coalition’s next Minister for Health and Aged Care if re-elected.
“Healthcare has been a part of my life ever since I was born as my mum was a nurse in our regional town, which also gave me great insight into the vital role country hospitals play in the lives of their communities,” Senator Ruston said.
“I look forward to the opportunity to deliver our Government’s commitment to a healthier Australia and will continue to prioritise medicines, mental health and medical research.
“We want Australians to have the best possible quality of health and when they need help, they are able to turn to our world-class healthcare system which is only able to be delivered through a strong economy.”
Only the Coalition can be trusted to manage Australia’s economy and manage Australia’s healthcare system.