Health support during COVID-19

The Government has prioritised the protection of Australians, including vulnerable groups like elderly veterans and those with chronic conditions from COVID-19.

27 July 2020

The Government has committed $9.4 billion to build capacity and capability to support the health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The urgent purchase of Personal Protective Equipment and other essential equipment for the National Medical Stockpile.
  • The Government is investing in finding a vaccine and treatments for COVID-19, as well as better preparing for future pandemics.
  • The Government has boosted Australia’s testing capacity to meet the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, including by establishing dedicated Medicare-funded pathology tests and dedicated respiratory clinics, with coverage of around 97 per cent of the population.
  • The Government is also providing $3.7 billion to build our hospital system capacity for the COVID-19 response, including the National Partnership Agreement on COVID-19 to fund half of the costs incurred by the states and territories in diagnosing and treating patients with COVID-19 and minimising the spread of the disease as well as the partnership to harness private hospital capacity.

To ensure access to essential health services, the Government has enabled whole-of-population Medicare subsidised telehealth services and provided
$619.1 million to support bulk billing and $54.8 million for additional support to enable GPs to continue to provide essential face-to-face medical services.

The Government has also provided $122.1 million to support the mental health and wellbeing of Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the National Partnership Agreement on COVID 19, the Government is investing $131.4 billion in Commonwealth funding for Australia’s public hospitals, an increase of 30 per cent over the previous five years, through the 2020-25 National Health Reform Agreement.

The Government is also providing $18.3 billion in new and existing funding over the next five years to ensure quality pharmaceutical services through the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement.