The Australian Government is providing immediate health support to assist local communities recover following the widespread floods in Queensland and New South Wales.
Immediate healthcare supports
The Australian Government will provide $4.7 million to ensure continuity of primary health care services for flood-impacted Australians, particularly in worst hit communities.
This will help ensure continuity of primary health care services – including the vital services provided by general practices, pharmacies and mental health providers.
Telehealth continues to be available across affected regions. An exemption has been made to normal MBS rules so people in flood-affected regions don't need an existing relationship with a GP to access MBS-subsidised telehealth services (video and phone).
Primary Health Networks in significantly flood-affected regions will also be funded to support their emergency response activities working with primary health care providers and relevant state and local agencies to help their communities access urgent health care services.
In the severely impacted northern NSW community of Lismore, locum support for general practices and pharmacies will bolster the local workforce and assist in providing continuity of health care for residents where a number of general practices and pharmacies have been forced to close.
Temporary shared practice accommodation is also being established in Lismore for displaced primary health care providers, including general practitioners, pharmacists, allied health providers, mental health service providers and dentists.
Mental health and trauma support for adults, youth and children
The Government is providing a further $31.2 million over two years for mental health support for Australians affected by the floods.
This will fast-track the establishment of a Head to Health centre in Lismore, which will have a particular focus on recovery and treatment for people diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Dedicated measures will be implemented to support the mental health of children and young people, as well as wellbeing and resilience grants to allow communities an opportunity to choose their own way to respond to the losses, anxiety and distress they have experienced, as well as actively participate in their recovery.
This package of support will be provided over two years recognising the need for substantial ongoing support for flood-impacted communities.
Learn more about the supports available to flood-affected for individuals, families and communities.