Department of Health and Ageing
Better Health | Better Care | Better Life
Better health and active ageing for all Australians.
To achieve the Australian Government’s priorities (outcomes) for health and ageing. The Department does this through its policy, program, research, and regulation activities, and by leading and working with other government agencies, consumers and stakeholders. Discussion on our achievements and challenges in 2005-06 may be found in Part 2 – Outcome Performance Reports.
Highlights of 2005-06
In working to achieve better health and active ageing for all Australians, the Department:
- administered a budget of $38.4 billion – nearly a fifth of the entire Federal Budget. This was a 6.1 per cent nominal increase over 2004-05 expenditure;
- developed the Australian Better Health Initiative, which focuses on promoting good health; reducing the burden of chronic disease; and improving care for people in the community. This initiative was announced by the Council of Australian Governments on 10 February 2006 (see Outcome 1);
- managed the development of the Fourth Community Pharmacy Agreement (see Outcome 2);
- developed enhanced prudential arrangements and a repayment guarantee scheme for aged care residents’ accommodation bonds (see Outcome 3);
- commenced work on the National Health Call Centre Network, which will provide all Australians with access to health information and advice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week (see Outcome 4);
- established new Regional Health Services in remote areas of Western Australia (see Outcome 5);
- improved Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s access to hearing services (see Outcome 6);
- implemented a new Medicare-funded annual health check for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, to encourage regular health checks, promote healthy behaviour and prevent illness (see Outcome 7);
- developed and commenced implementation of a range of reforms to private health insurance (see Outcome 8);
- established the National Youth Mental Health Foundation (see Outcome 9);
- strengthened the radiation oncology workforce in public and private facilities (see Outcome 10);
- implemented arrangements that enabled the National Health and Medical Research Council to become an independent statutory agency (see Outcome 11); and
- further strengthened Australia’s preparedness for an influenza pandemic through the release of the revised Australian Health Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza (see Outcome 12).