Rapid antigen tests for priority frontline services

The Australian Government is ensuring RATs are available to the people who need them most, including people in aged care, Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health services, GP-led respiratory clinics, and supported independent living services.

Delivering RATs to priority frontline services

The Australian Government is investing an additional $517 million to ensure continued supply of rapid antigen tests (RATs). This will ensure all Australians, particularly people in priority groups, can continue to access RATs to curb the spread of infection in communities and identify new COVID-19 cases quickly.

$250 million will be allocated for the continued distribution of RATs to:

  • residential aged care facilities (RACFs)
  • Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS)
  • GP-led respiratory clinics (GPRCs)
  • remote and rural communities where there is limited access to testing.

Funding of $267 million will deliver RATs to supported independent living (SIL) residential disability care services.

This funding package will also support growing the National Medical Stockpile reserve of RATs to ensure protection from possible supply-chain issues in the future.

Who will benefit

A continued supply of RATs to RACFs will allow screening of workers, essential visitors and residents in residential aged care facilities.

This package will ensure the continued testing of the ACCHS workforce and assist with distributing RATs to remote communities.

Additional funding will be allocated for a testing program for the GPRC workforce. It will also enable testing of symptomatic patients where quick results are needed, particularly in rural and remote areas.

This investment and the RATs it delivers help reduce community transmission and ensure people with COVID-19 are diagnosed quickly.

Meeting our goals

We will work with RACFs, ACCHS and GPRCs to provide information about processes for ordering and receiving RATs, and the initial distribution to SIL services. The Department of Social Services will manage and administer ongoing arrangements for SIL services.

Learn more

If you have questions about the rapid antigen tests for priority frontline services program you can email the team at RAT.general@health.gov.au.

Date last updated:

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