Federal Budget: Healthcare takes priority amid COVID-19

Summary

  1. Allocates AU$1.5 billion to enhance healthcare responses
  2. Allocates AU$1.9 billion to drive COVID-19 vaccination
  3. Targets 170 million vaccination doses through this funding

The Australian government has prioritised the spending on the healthcare, as COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fallacies in the global health infrastructure.

In the Federal Budget 2021-22 the Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that the Scott Morrison government will be providing AU$1.5 billion in this year’s Budget “to extend a range of health responses”.

The allocation to is over and above the federal support for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines. The budget aims at continued funding for telehealth services. The telehealth services have catered to 56 million cases of 13.7 million patients since March 2020 – the onset of the global pandemic.

The allocation also includes federal support for COVID-19 testing and measures to prevent outbreak of virus in the remote communities.

For the vaccination programme, the federal government has proposed to allocate AU$1.9 billion. The funding, according to Mr Frydenberg includes “administering vaccines, managing distribution and logistics, recording and monitoring data, communications and supporting the states and territories.”

Till now 2.5 million Australians have been vaccinated and this funding aims enhancing the Australian vaccine portfolio to 170 million doses.

As the global pandemic exposed the fallacies of the global healthcare system, more governments are now focussing on strengthening the healthcare system. Australia, on its part, has committed $20 billion to bolster the health system.


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