Medicare, Primary Health & Cheaper Medicines

After 9 long years of cuts and neglect, the Albanese Government is making Medicare stronger for all Australians, delivering critical funding for the urgent needs of today, and reforms for the healthcare of tomorrow. 

Our historic investments in Medicare will triple the bulk billing incentive, in the largest increase to the incentive in the 40-year history of Medicare. 

We’re delivering cheaper medicines for 6 million Australians, halving the costs of medicines and halving the number of visits to the doctor and the pharmacy. 

The Government is making it easier for Australians to get the care they need, by growing the health workforce and supporting all our trusted health workers to do what they’re trained to do. 

Overall Australian Government spending on health, aged care and sport in 2023-24 is $137.6 billion. 

The Australian Government has committed $101.0 billion in health, $36.0 billion in aged care and $563.1 million in sport, bringing the total four year commitment to $580 billion. This includes investments to build a stronger Medicare ($5.7b), health prevention and protection ($1.1b), tackling smoking and vaping ($737.0m), mental health and suicide prevention ($586.9m), and First Nations health ($818.5m). 

The Government believes the Budget strikes the right balance between spending and savings, between much-needed reform and fiscal responsibility. 

Measures include: 

  • $3.5 billion in bulk billing incentives 
  • Making common medicines cheaper 
  • Extending public dental services 
  • $358.5 million for Medicare Urgent Care Clinics, with more clinics in more places (including one in Wollongong) 
  • $143.9 million for after hours primary care 
  • MyMedicare - a new voluntary scheme to create a stronger relationship between patients and their primary care teams 
  • $98.2 million for new Medicare rebates 
  • $47.8 million for wound care 
  • $445.1 million to expand general practice 
  • $951.2 million for digital health 
  • $29.8 million as an initial investment to reduce fraud 
  • $81.8 million for changes to scholarship arrangements 
  • $4.5 million for expansion of Single Employer Model trials 
  • $10.7 million for primary care placements 
  • $46.8 million to fund Medicare rebates for care provided by nurse practitioners 
  • $1.2 billion for community pharmacies 
  • $586.9 million for improved mental health 
  • $247.4 million to tackle smoking and vaping 
  • $502.2 million for stronger preventative health 
  • $68.3 million for better drug and alcohol prevention and treatment 

Details relating to the above measures (and others) may be found here: