Budget Communique

In reviewing the May 2015 federal budget, the APA highlights the key points for the physiotherapy profession.

Impact on small business

  • 1.5% company tax for businesses with annual turnover less than $2m
  • Ability to immediately deduct assets worth less than $20k between now and end of 17 June
  • Start-ups allowed to immediately deduct setup expenses
  • Accelerated depreciation is a great incentive for upgrading technology in physiotherapy practices
  • Tax cuts will help employment in the private physiotherapy industry.

Medicare Benefits Scheme

  • We welcome the implementation of the MBS review with a focus on physiotherapy representation to acknowledge the role of allied health in increasing its focus on prevention and conservative management of chronic disease
  • We welcome the establishment of a Primary Health Care Advisory Group to focus on innovative ways to deliver primary care, especially chronic disease.

Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR)

  • We support the allocated $485.1m for eHealth, including the redevelopment and continued operation of the PCEHR (to be renamed My Health Record)
  • We welcome and encourage the decision to convert to an opt-out model.

Research

  • We support $400m over four years towards the $20b medical research fund.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

  • We welcome the commitment to reinstate some of the funding lost in the previous budget and hope that no further cuts are made
  • We call for improved access to physiotherapists to increase preventative care, and community say in how funding is spent
  • We call for more information on the proposed National Indigenous Coalition.

Workforce

  • We welcome the focus on rural and remote shortages
  • A new geographical classification system will ensure incentive payments are targeted to doctors and dentists who choose to practise in areas of greatest need—physiotherapists should be included in the new incentives for doctors and dentists to practise in areas of need.

Mental health

  • We support the development and implementation of options for policy and program changes following the conclusion of the National Mental Health Commission’s Review of Mental Health Programs and Services
  • We support the establishment of an expert reference group to inform the entire process, including the development of short-term and long-term implementation strategies based on reviews findings
  • We support the role of primary care in treatment of mental health, including better targeting of services and national leadership such as regional service integration.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

  • $1.6b in listings since 2015 with a further $2.5b in the final stage of negotiations

Listings include: 

  1. breast cancer 
  2. melanoma 
  3. eye disease 
  4. shingles vaccine for people 70–79.

Read more

APA welcomes the Federal Government focus on Health
Federal Government's 1.5 per cent tax cut for small business welcomed by the APA