What the 2018 Federal Health Budget means for GP registrars

Here are the major changes

Big changes for non-VR doctors and good news for rural health.

GPRA CEO represented GPRA at the Federal Budget lockup with the Department of Health. The 2018 Federal Health Budget is a move in the right direction.

GPRA released three key media statements regarding key aspects of the Health Budget: Great Preventive Health InitiativesContinuing Commitment to Supporting Health Peak and Advisory Bodies is Important, and Federal budget a move in the right direction.

Here are some of the other key points for general practice from the budget announcements:

  • Patient rebates will increase from 1 July after a four-year indexation freeze.
  • A Stronger Rural Health Strategy is available to assist with planning enhanced teaching and training arrangements for GP registrars, committing $550 million.
  • National Rural Generalist Pathway developed with the National Rural Health Commissioner adding 100 vocational training places for rural generalists.
  • The numbers of visas for overseas-trained doctors will decrease from 2300 to 2100.
  • Measures listed under ‘supporting the development of preventive health initiative' will help turn the tide against unhealthy lifestyles and Australia’s escalating chronic disease burden.
  • Further funds are allocated towards public hospitals ($130 billion) Medicare compliance ($9.5 million) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations and programs ($200 million), and aged care ($1.6 billion).

Key changes for non-VR doctors encourage non-VR doctors to become fellows:

  • If a non-VR doctor is working outside a city with a population of more than 50,000, they will have access to a Medicare provider number which will attract 80% of the patient Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) schedule.

  • Services provided by a new non-VR doctor will attract 100% of the patient rebate if the doctor is on a pathway to Fellowship.

Read the Department of Health's summary here.

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