The Albanese Government is making it easier for Australians to see a doctor by strengthening Medicare, the critical foundation of our health system.
After a decade of Liberal cuts and attacks on Medicare, primary health care is in crisis in Australia.
The Albanese Government is delivering on a key election commitment, the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce.
The Strengthening Medicare Taskforce is bringing together Australia’s health policy leaders. The diverse membership has been drawn from across the health professions, and includes consumer, rural and regional and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives.
The Taskforce will work to deliver concrete results through its recommendations, including:
- Improved patient access to general practice, including after-hours.
- Improved patient access to GP-led multidisciplinary team care, including nursing and allied health.
- Greater patient affordability.
- Better management of ongoing health conditions including chronic conditions.
- Decreased pressure on hospitals.
The Albanese Government is backing the Taskforce by investing $750 million to deliver the highest priority reforms to Medicare.
The $220 million Strengthening Medicare GP Grants program will also see more resources invested in our GP practices.
Together, these commitments make up an almost $1 billion investment to ensure Australians can see a doctor when they need to.
The Strengthening Medicare Taskforce is chaired by Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler. He is joined by:
- Dr Omar Khorshid, President, Australian Medical Association
- Adjunct Professor Karen Price, President, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
- Dr Sarah Chalmers, President, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
- Ms Leanne Wells, Chief Executive Officer, Consumers Health Forum of Australia
- Dr Dawn Casey PSM, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
- Ms Karen Booth, President, Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association
- Ms Annie Butler, Federal Secretary, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation
- Ms Amanda Cattermole PSM, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Digital Health Agency
- Professor Stephen Duckett, Honorary Enterprise Professor, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne
- Associate Professor Learne Durrington, Chief Executive Officer,
WA Primary Health Alliance
- Professor Adam Elshaug, Director, Centre for Health Policy, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne
- Dr Steve Hambleton AM, general practitioner
- Dr Walid Jammal, general practitioner
- Dr Nigel Lyons, Deputy Secretary, NSW Health
- Mr Antony Nicholas, Board Chair, Allied Health Professions Australia
- Adjunct Professor Ruth Stewart, National Rural Health Commissioner
The Taskforce will begin work immediately.
Quotes attributable to Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler:
“Our health system is under pressure, our doctors need support, and we need to reduce pressure on hospitals.
“The average out-of-pocket cost for GP services has risen 60 per cent over the past decade.
“The Albanese Government is committed to restoring affordable and accessible health care.
“Our Strengthening Medicare Taskforce are a diverse group of health experts and consumer representatives who will provide practical advice to help us start fixing our health care and make it easier for Australians to see a doctor.”