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Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Page: 12671

General Practice After Hours Care

(Question No. 607)


Dr Southcott asked the Minister for Health and Ageing, in writing, on 15 September 2011:

(1) What total sum of funding has been allocated to general practice after hours care in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13, (c) 2013-14, and (c) 2014-15.

(2) For the same period, what total sum of funding has been allocated to each individual program that supports general practice after hours care.

(3) What sum of funding was allocated to the General Practice After Hours program in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05, (c) 2005-06, (d) 2006-07, (e) 2007-08, (f) 2008-09, (g) 2009-10, and (h) 2010-11.

(4) What sum of funding has been allocated to the General Practice After Hours program in each year over the forward estimates.

(5) What sum of funding has been allocated to the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) After Hours Incentive in each financial year since its inception.

(6) What sum of funding has been allocated to the PIP After Hours Incentive in each year over the forward estimates.


Ms Roxon: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Funding allocated towards general practice after hours care is as follows:

2011-12

($m)

2012-13

($m)

2013-14

($m)

2014-15

($m)

127.8

179.3

184.7

193.9

 

The funding outlined in the table above includes funding allocated towards the Medicare Local After Hours Program, the after hours GP helpline (including the addition of a videoconferencing capability), the General Practice After Hours Program and the

Practice Incentive Program After Hours Incentive 1.

(2) The total sum of funding allocated towards each program that supports general practice after hours care is as follows:

Program

2011-12

($m)

2012-13

($m)

2013-14

($m)

2014-15

($m)

After Hours Health Reform Initiative: Medicare Local After Hours Program and the after hours GP helpline (including addition of a videoconferencing capability)

 

51.9

 

102.1

 

180.0

 

193.9

General Practice After Hours Program

16.2

16.5

4.7

0

Practice Incentive Program After Hours Incentive1

59.7

60.7

0

0

 

The Australian Government also supports after hours service provision through the Medicare Benefits Schedule After Hours Rebates for GPs and other medical practitioners. After hours rebates are higher than equivalent rebates offered during standard hours.

(3) In the 2008-09 Budget measure, Responsible Economic Management - After-Hours medical services - streamlining grants funding, the Government announced a streamlining of the former After Hours Primary Medical Care and Round the Clock Medicare: Investing in After Hours GP Services programs into a single program, known as the General Practice After Hours Program.

The sum of funding allocated to the After Hours Primary Medical Care and the Round the Clock Medicare: Investing in After Hours GP Service programs from 2003-04 to 2007-08 is as follows:

2003-04

($m)

2004-05

($m)

2005-06

($m)

2006-07

($m)

2007-08

($m)

10.6

10.2

10.2

15.5

16.2

 

From 2008-09, the sum of funding allocated to the General Practice After Hours Program is as follows:

2008-09

($m)

2009-10

($m)

2010-11

($m)

19.9

19.8

18.0

 

(4) Funding allocated to the General Practice After Hours Program over the forward estimates is as follows:

2011-12

($m)

2012-13

($m)

2013-14

($m)

2014-15

($m)

16.2

16.5

4.7

0

 

Grants under the General Practice After Hours Program will no longer be offered from 1 July 2012. All existing General Practice After Hours Program grants will be honoured, funding for which is reflected in the forward estimates.

From 1 July 2013, funding previously allocated towards the General Practice After Hours Program will be redirected through Medicare Locals to support after hours primary care.

(5) The Practice Incentive Program After Hours Incentive was introduced in August 1999. The annual expenditure since its inception is listed below:

1999-00

($m)

2000-01

($m)

2001-02

($m)

2002-03

($m)

2003-04

($m)

2004-05

($m)

2005-06

($m)

2006-07

($m)

2007-08

($m)

2008-09

($m)

2009-10

($m)

2010-11

($m)

51.9

54.6

51.7

53.4

54.3

54.4

54.6

55.3

55.7

56.4

57.7

58.7

 

(6) There is no specific funding allocation for the Practice Incentive Program After Hours Incentive in the forward estimates.

On 1 July 2011, funding for the Practice Incentive Program After Hours Incentive and a number of other Practice Incentive Program incentives was consolidated into the Practice Incentives for General Practices Fund, which has a funding allocation of around $1.055 billion over four years.

The Practice Incentive Program After Hours Incentive will cease on 30 June 2013. Funding previously allocated towards this incentive will be redirected through Medicare Locals to support after hours primary care.

_____________

1 As of 1 July 2011, there is no specific funding allocation for the Practice Incentive Program After Hours Incentive in the forward estimates. All figures are approximated based on previous expenditure for this incentive.