Date published: 
24 February 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Liberal National Government will ensure that Australians at risk of heart disease receive timely and appropriate medical advice with the creation of a new Medicare item for heart health checks.

From April 1 this year a new dedicated MBS item for heart health checks will support General Practitioners and patients in assessing cardiovascular risk.

Our Government is deeply committed to tackling Australia’s biggest killer – heart disease.

One Australian dies of cardiovascular disease every 12 minutes, with one Australian experiencing a heart attack or stroke every five minutes.

This dedicated Medicare item for heart heath checks will save and protect lives.

The independent medical experts at the Medical Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce will also conduct a review with the potential for further development of this new Medicare item.

Anyone who is concerned about their heart health should always ask their GP for a check-up. Currently there are a range of Medicare items that cover services and tests where people may have heart disease or are at risk of heart disease, including:

  • Specialist consultations with a cardiologist
  • Electrocardiogram tests (ECG)
  • Exercise ECG
  • Stress (exercise) ECG​​​​​​​
  • Cardiac ECG​​​​​​​
  • Coronary angiography
  • Computed tomography coronary arteries
  • Chest x-ray
  • Electrophysiology studies
  • Cholesterol tests
  • Lipid tests
  • Glucose test

Since 2013, the Coalition Government has provided $662.2 million for research into cardiovascular disease and provided $7.7 billion to subsidise medicine to treat cardiovascular disease on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Ministers: