ADIA is the peak business organisation representing manufacturers and suppliers of dental products. Our vision is for an industry that empowers oral health professionals to advance the health and wellbeing of all Australians...................... — ADIA Strategic Plan

2017 Budget — Healthcare spending


The 2017 Australian Government Budget supports the long-term national health plant that is based on the four pillars of guaranteeing Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme; supporting hospitals; prioritising mental and preventive health; and investment in medical research.

Some of the key measures of interest to the dental community are set out below:

Medicare Benefits Schedule Indexation

The budget flags the re-introduction of indexation for certain items on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). This includes bulk-billing incentives for General Practitioners will be indexed from 1 July 2017 with standard consultations by General Practitioners and specialist attendances will be indexed from 1 July 2018. Specialist procedures and allied health services will be indexed from 1 July 2019.

2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
...Dept. of Health
$9.2 Mil $140.4 Mil $389.3 Mil $421.0 Mil
...Dept. of Veterans Affairs $0.3 Mil $5.6 Mil $14.1 Mil $22.4 Mil
...Total — Expense $9.5 Mil $146.0 Mil $403.4 Mil $443.4 Mil

In addition, the Government will introduce, for the first time since 2004, indexation from 1 July 2020 for certain diagnostic imaging items on the MBS, including for computed tomography scans, mammography, fluoroscopy and interventional radiology.

Medicare Guarantee Fund

The Government will establish the Medicare Guarantee Fund (the Fund) as a special account from 1 July 2017 to guarantee the Government’s commitment to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) into the future.

The Fund will be credited each year with revenue raised from the Medicare levy (excluding amounts to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme) as well as a portion of personal income tax receipts sufficient to cover the costs of the MBS and the PBS.

The forecast annual contributions to the Fund over the forward estimates will be updated at every budget update, commencing with the 2017-18 Budget, in line with forecast MBS and PBS expenditure over the forward estimates.

These amounts will be held in the Fund for the sole purpose of funding the MBS and PBS.

Investing In Medical Research

Over the next four years the Government will move substantially towards doubling its current medical research funding. This Budget starts the Government’s disbursements from its landmark Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) worth $20 billion by 2021. This will deliver disbursements of $1.4 billion over the next five years from 2016-17. This will play a key role in building a stronger, sustainable health system, capable of addressing the pressures that confront us: disease complexity; ageing and chronic conditions; lifestyle behaviours; new technologies; communicable diseases; and increasing consumer expectations.

First earnings of $65.9 million from the MRFF from 2016-17 will fund eight strategic investments, aligned with the independent Australian Medical Research Advisory Board’s Strategy and Priorities. A balance of long-term research and clinical trials will improve health system efficiency, patient care and access, health outcomes, and innovation in health. The initiatives include:

$20 million for preventive health and research translation projects. Including $10 million for Advanced Health Translation Centres and $10 million for the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre.
$33 million for clinical trials to build on Australia’s world class strengths and to ensure Australia is a preferred destination for clinical trial research.
$12.9 million for breakthrough research investments to drive cutting edge science and accelerate research for better treatments and cures.

The Government will invest $10.8 million to fight childhood cancer through research and clinical trials. This includes providing Cancer Australia $4.4 million aimed at increasing Australia’s research capacity to advance diagnosis, treatment, management, analysis, and improve data and awareness of childhood cancer, as well as $1.4 million to fast track international research collaborations of paediatric brain cancer in Australia. In addition, the Government will provide $5 million under the Medical Research Future Fund to CanTeen to improve outcomes for children and young people fighting against cancer.

Furthermore, funding of $68 million will be provided to the South Australian Government to purchase accelerator equipment and treatment rooms to support the establishment of Australia’s first Proton Beam Therapy facility for advanced research and treatment of cancer. These initiatives build on the 2016 election commitment of $20 million for the ground-breaking Zero Childhood Cancer initiative.

In addition, the Government will spend $2.1 million over two years to implement its 2016 election commitment to introduce a ban on cosmetic testing on animals from 1 July 2017.

My Health Record

Following unanimous support by COAG for a national roll-out of the My Health Record, the Government will invest $374.2 million over two years to ensure every Australian has a My Health Record, unless they prefer not to. This will support the expanded rollout of the opt-out model to all Australians, and will continue and improve operations of My Health Record, while making it easier for health providers to register for the system. Opt-out is the fastest way to realise the significant health and economic benefits of My Health Record for all Australians, including through avoided hospital admissions, fewer adverse drug events, reduced duplication of tests, better coordination of care for people seeing multiple healthcare providers, and better informed treatment decisions.

Medical Services Advisory Committee Continuation.

The Government will provide $44.5 million over four years from 2017‑18 to continue the work of the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC).

2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
...Department of Health $12.1 Mil $11.3 Mil $10.5 Mil $10.6 Mil

MSAC which provides independent advice on services covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule and examines the evidence for proposed new medical technologies and procedures.

With respect to the work of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), this is largely off-budget as the TGA is funded by fees and charges levied on the manufactures and suppliers of medicines and medical devices within Australia.

Budget Briefing —

Stakeholders from across the dental industry are encouraged to attend the 2017 ADIA Australian Government Budget Briefing that will be held on 24 May 2017 in Sydney. It will be presented by Bill Evans, the Chief Economist at Westpac. [Register Today]

Member Engagement —

ADIA provides leadership, strategy, advocacy and support. Our members set our agenda, fund our activities and directly benefit from the results. With respect to the Association's work to ensure that the initiatives within the 2017 Australian Government budget support the dental industry, the team in the ADIA national office receive advice and guidance from members serving on the ADIA-BAC Business Affairs Committee.

Further Information —

To keep up to date with how ADIA is working to ensure that the Australian Government budget supports the dental industry, subscribe to the Twitter feed @AusDental or follow us on Facebook at Alternatively, you can contact the Association via email at or by telephone on 1300 943 094.

This information is available for your use under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence, with the exception of the ADIA logo, other images and where otherwise stated.

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