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

2015 Budget — Selected health spending measures

The 2015 Australian Government budget contains a number of measures in the health portfolio (beyond spending on dental care) that are of interest to manufacturers and suppliers of dental products. An overview of selected measures is set out below.

PBS Increase In The Safety Net Thresholds —

The Government will achieve savings of $5.1Million in 2018-19 by extending the increases to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) safety net thresholds by one additional year in 2019. This builds on the 2014-15 Budget measure titled Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme — increase in co-payments and safety net thresholds which increased the PBS safety net thresholds each year for four years from 1 January 2015, with general safety net thresholds to increase by 10 per cent each year and concessional safety nets to increase by the cost of two prescriptions each year.

The Government has revised the start date of this measure to 1 January 2016, with the final increases in the safety net thresholds to now occur on 1 January 2019. The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to fund other Health policy priorities or will be reinvested into the Medical Research Future Fund.

The Government will provide $1.6 billion over five years for a number of new and amended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

MBS State / Territory Duplication —

The Government will achieve savings of $144.6 million over four years by removing the current duplication between health assessments under the Medicare Benefits Schedule and the child health assessments already provided by the states and territories.

The Government will not proceed with measures originally announced in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2014-15 to redefine the time requirements for Level A and B GP consultation items and to reduce rebates by $5 for common GP consultations and after hours services to non-concessional patients aged 16 and over.

My Health Record Initiative —

The Government will provide $485.1Million over four years to continue the operation of the eHealth system, make key system and governance improvements and implement trials of opt-out arrangements.

Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records (PCEHR) will be renamed as My Health Records and the Government will provide national coordination for eHealth by transitioning governance arrangements from the National E-Health Transition Authority to the new Australian Commission for eHealth. Trials will be held in at least two regions in 2016 and will assess public and provider responses to revised participation arrangements, including to an opt-out model. The Department of Finance will undertake a Gateway review of the My Health Record system and will provide independent assurance to improve delivery and implementation.

Funding of $699.2 million for the redevelopment of the PCEHR was provisioned for in the contingency reserve at the 2014-15 Budget. The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to fund other Health policy priorities or will be reinvested into the Medical Research Future Fund.

2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
...Department of Finance -$.01Mil -.01Mil
...Department of Veterans Affairs $0.1Mil $0.1Mil
...Department of Human Services -$12.5Mil -$15.9Mil $8.6Mil $0.2Mil
...Department of Health -$39.6Mil -$82.2Mil -$41.0Mil $5.1Mil
...Total — Expense -$52.2Mil -$98.3Mil -$49.6Mil $5.3Mil

Reducing the Burden of the Industrial Chemicals Regulatory Framework to Industry —

The Government will provide $4.2 million over four years from 2015-16 to amend the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 to focus regulatory assessment on industrial chemicals that pose the greatest risk and to develop streamlined assessment processes for new and existing chemicals, including using existing international approvals where appropriate. This will reduce the regulatory burden of the industrial chemicals regulatory framework and remove unnecessary barriers to the entry to market of lower risk chemicals, while maintaining the protection of public health and the environment.

The cost of this measure will be fully funded by industry through increased industrial chemical levies between 2015-16 and 2021-22.

2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
...Department of Health Expense $2.5Mil -$2.5Mil -$0.4Mil
...Department of Health Income $2.5Mil $2.5Mil $1.4Mil $1.8Mil
...Total — Expense $0 $0 -$1.4Mil -$1.4Mil

Rationalising and streamlining Health programmes —

The Government will achieve savings of $113.1 million over five years from 2014-15 through: Creating operational efficiencies in the delivery of corporate services by amalgamating the corporate and legal services of the Therapeutic Goods Administration into the corporate functions of the Department; Ceasing activities in the Department that mirror the work of specialist agencies such as the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority, Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority, National Blood Authority, National Health Performance Authority, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare; Ceasing the National Lead Clinicians Group from 1 July 2015; Rationalising the structure of the Department to more effectively respond to the Government's health policy priorities; Rationalising business and financial management support functions across the Department; Reducing contractor costs by recruiting ongoing staff to replace IT contractors; and Reducing the Department's property footprint and consolidating staff into current locations.

The Government will reinvest $10.0 million over four years to further develop the in-house data analytical, economics and research capacity of the Department, including engaging external expertise and developing data links with other Government agencies as necessary.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to fund other Health policy priorities or will be reinvested into the Medical Research Future Fund.

2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
...Department of Health -$3.2Mil -$14.8Mil -$29.3Mil -$32.8Mil -$33.0Mil
...Total — Expense -$3.2Mil -$14.8Mil -$29.3Mil -$32.8Mil -$33.0Mil

This update was issued on 13 May 2015 and please note that changes in circumstances after the publication of material or information may impact upon its accuracy and also change tax compliance obligations. It is recommended that expert advice be sought before taking action based upon the information presented here.

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 2015 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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