Update from the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer - Budget Measures and Funding - May 2023

A newsletter from Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan with updates from the nursing and midwifery sector, some personal priorities and highlights, and an insight on what's happening across the Department of Health and Aged Care.

Date published:
Health sector

A message from Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer Alison McMillan PSM

Hello and welcome to the Budget measures and funding section of the May newsletter. It has been a busy month for the nursing and midwifery sector, with updates to funding announced in the 2023-2024 Federal Budget.

I am pleased to share how the changes to the Budget will affect nursing and midwifery, and what this means for the introduction of new training resources and grants.

Primary Health Network Commissioning of Multidisciplinary Teams

The Government committed $79.4 million over 4 years (2023-24 to 2026-27) to strengthen the role Primary Health Networks (PHNs) play in commissioning multidisciplinary health care teams to improve management of chronic conditions and reduce avoidable hospitalisations. This will improve access to affordable multidisciplinary health care professionals, working together to deliver better patient outcomes in line with the recommendations of the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce.

Funding Pay Increases for Aged Care Workers

The Government will provide $515 million over 5 years from 2022–23 (and $956.9 million over 10 years from 2022–23) to fund the outcome of the Fair Work Commission’s decision on the Aged Care Work Value Case.

Aged Care

$14.9 million has been committed to increase clinical placements for nurses in the care and support sector. $14.3 million was committed to expand the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program to an additional 5 locations in the Northern Territory, Victoria, New South Wales and remote Queensland, as well as funding for resources to support students undertaking clinical placements. 

Bullwinkel Scholarships

The Australian Government is providing $1 million as a matching co-contribution for the Bullwinkel Scholars, establishing 21 scholarships through the Australian College of Nursing which will support nurses seeking to further their professional development in leadership. 

Mental Health

$17.8 million over 5 years from 2022–23 to upskill the mental health capabilities of the broader health workforce through training, resources and professional development materials.

Strengthening Medicare

The Government has committed:

  • $445.1 million over 5 years to increase funding for the Workforce Incentive Program–Practice Stream.
  • $60.2 million to extend Practice Incentive Program–Quality Improvement payments until 30 June 2024.
  • $50.2 million over 4 years to establish the Primary Care and Midwifery Scholarships program.
  • $46.8 million over 4 years to recognise the role nurse practitioners and participating midwives play in the delivery of health care services.
  • $10.7 million over 4 years to boost the primary care nursing workforce.
  • $27 million over 4 years to improve the provision of, and access to, primary care and support services in thin markets.
  • $47.8 million over 5 years (and $12.3 million per year ongoing) to improve chronic wound treatment by establishing a Chronic Wound Consumables Scheme.

For more information, read the Building a Stronger Medicare factsheet.

COVID-19 Response

Support eligible doctors and midwives through continued access to the Run-Off Cover Scheme by extending the medical indemnity legislative arrangements to address workforce shortages arising from COVID-19.

Cancer Funding

On 2 May 2023, it was announced by The Hon Mark Butler MP Minister for Health and Aged Care that $264 million will be invested in a new national lung cancer screening program that is predicted to prevent 4,080 deaths from lung cancer. At risk Australians will be able to get a lung scan every two years, as recommended by the independent Medical Services Advisory Committee.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Australia, and First Nations communities carry a much higher burden of both smoking and cancer. Cancer is now the leading cause of disease-related death for First Nations people.

The Australian Government is investing $239 million over 4 years to address inequities in cancer outcomes for First Nations peoples. This includes nearly $200 million to the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) to deliver a new suite of programs to build the capacity and capability of the Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) sector.

Media release: Taking action on smoking and vaping | Health Portfolio Ministers and Aged Care

Infection Prevention and Control Lead Nurse Training grants

Residential aged care providers can still apply for funding to support registered and enrolled nurses to complete specialist IPC Lead Nurse training.

Support is available up to a maximum of $13,020 per eligible nurse, for up to two registered or enrolled nurses in each eligible residential aged care home, for costs relating to:

  • fees for suitable IPC training courses
  • wages for study leave
  • wages for backfilling for nurses undertaking study.

This funding provides support for more nurses in residential aged care to access IPC Lead Nurse training. Highly skilled staff will ensure residential aged care homes are well prepared to prevent or manage future infectious disease outbreaks including influenza and COVID-19. For an IPC specialist course to be deemed suitable, it must:

  • focus on infection prevention and control
  • be specified at the level of AQF8
  • be delivered by a recognised education or training provider
  • have an assessment, or assessments, that facilitate successful completion of the course.

The grant opportunity opened 1 December 2022 and applications close at 2pm 30 June 2023 (AEST).

Find out more about this Grant Opportunity: Aged Care Infection Prevention and Control Training (GO5867) on the GrantConnect website.


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