The Albanese Government has today announced a $1.4 billion package to extend COVID-19 response measures, which were due to expire on September 30.
The measures include:
- More than $840 million in additional funding for the Aged Care Support Program, including $35 million for ongoing on‑site PCR testing in aged care
- Over $115 million for the supply of rapid antigen tests to service providers and care recipients in high-risk settings including residential aged care facilities
- Over $142 million in MBS items and rebates from 1 October 2022 for testing SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses, where appropriate
- Over $48 million to extend around 100 GP-led Respiratory Clinics
- Over $5 million to extend telehealth MBS items to prescribe lifesaving antivirals
- $5.5 million in additional rebates for face-to-face GP visits for patients with COVID
- Over $235 million to ensure PPE, treatments, rapid antigen tests and other supplies from the National Medical Stockpile for aged care, primary care, disability care and First Nations health services and frontline healthcare workers, and
- Continued communication activities to ensure Australians can make informed choices about how to protect themselves and their communities from COVID‑19.
The Albanese Government is bolstering Australia’s COVID-19 response by investing $1.4 billion to extend COVID-19 response measures.— Mark Butler MP (@Mark_Butler_MP) September 19, 2022
In a statement, Catholic Health Australia has welcomed the federal government’s $1.4 billion extension of Covid-19 health funding.
Jason Kara, Director of Aged Care at CHA, said the extra $840 million to help cover staff and equipment costs in the aged care sector will provide a much-needed boost to the 550 care facilities in the CHA network.
“This additional government funding comes at a vital time given over half of Australia’s aged care homes are currently operating at a loss,” he said.
“Rapid antigen testing and PPE are essential for residents to safely meet loved ones and improve their social connectedness and quality of life.
“But anti-Covid measures are expensive and that funding needs to come from somewhere. We’re grateful the Government has recognised this,” Mr Kara added.