Good news on health in the federal budget
The Treasurer Jim Chalmers released the 2023- 2024 federal budget on 9 May. The budget includes new spending that should improve GP health care for people with intellectual disability and other people with healthcare challenges.
People with intellectual disability need a GP who bulk bills, gets to know them well and can spend as long as it takes to work out their health needs. Bulk billing is where the GP just claims what Medicare pays and does not charge the patient extra.
Here are new initiatives in the budget that will help people with intellectual disability to get this care.
- GPs will get extra money from the government if they bulk bill children and people on pensions.
- People with intellectual disability will be able to enrol with their general practice under the new My Medicare programme. This will lead to more consistent and well informed health care and some people will be able to get funding packages tailored to their health needs.
- Increased payment to GPs for people who need to see the GP for more than an hour.
- Funding for GPs to employ a range of health professionals like nurses and speech therapists
There is also money to improve the My Health Record system. Everyone has a health record online so they don’t have to remember everything a doctor needs to know about their health. However, right now the My Health Record system is very hard for people with intellectual disability to use.
CID will be advocating to make these changes work well for people with intellectual disability.