Date published: 
19 September 2022
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Albanese Government is bolstering Australia’s COVID-19 response by investing $1.4 billion to extend COVID-19 response measures.

These measures were due to expire on the 30th of September, and now will be extended until 31 December 2022.

The measures include:

  • More than $840 million in additional funding for the Aged Care Support Program, including $35 million for ongoing on‑site PCR testing in aged care
  • Over $115 million for the supply of rapid antigen tests to service providers and care recipients in high-risk settings including residential aged care facilities
  • Over $142 million in MBS items and rebates from 1 October 2022 for testing SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses, where appropriate
  • Over $48 million to extend around 100 GP-led Respiratory Clinics
  • Over $5 million to extend telehealth MBS items to prescribe lifesaving antivirals
  • $5.5 million in additional rebates for face-to-face GP visits for patients with COVID
  • Over $235 million to ensure PPE, treatments, rapid antigen tests and other supplies from the National Medical Stockpile for aged care, primary care, disability care and First Nations health services and frontline healthcare workers, and
  • Continued communication activities to ensure Australians can make informed choices about how to protect themselves and their communities from COVID‑19.

These measures have been extended to protect the most vulnerable in our community and to take pressure off our hospitals.

The Government will continue to review the COVID-19 response measures, according to expert advice, as it develops a long-term strategy for managing the pandemic.

 This long-term strategy will allow Australians to live confidently while protecting vulnerable and at-risk people in our community against the virus. 

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler MP

“This action will provide Australians with effective testing, medical care and treatments to protect themselves and those most vulnerable in the community.

“These investments also provide ongoing support and protection for our frontline health and aged care workers, and people living in residential aged care homes, as well as those people supporting the most vulnerable to severe illness from COVID‑19.”

Ministers: