Mental health, preventative health care and Medicare winners in 2019 Budget

Heart Support Australia has welcomed the Morrison Government’s 2019 Budget and applauds the federal government and Labor parties ongoing commitment to heart health and health consumers.

Tuesday's Health Budget highlighted greater support for health consumers in rural and remote areas with funding being allocated to the training of GPs in these areas as well $12 million being directed at protecting and expanding services including the Heart of Australia mobile cardiology unit in Northern Queensland.

Mental health, preventative health care and Medicare services also received welcomed financial boost from the Budget. Previous budgets have seen an increase in spending on mental health; the 2019 Budget includes an extra $461m aimed at youth mental health. $111 million will also be directed at opening 30 new Headspace services with a focus on adult health consumers.

Heart Support Australia Chair Alan Galbraith said,

‘Recovering from a heart event can cause long lasting mental health problems. Heart Support Australia is pleased to see continued investment in this area at a national level.’

From the beginning of April 2019, hearth health checks will be available to health consumers through Medicare.

‘Supporting comprehensive heart health checks is an important step towards tackling cardiovascular disease. These measures also acknowledge the important role general practice plays in preventative health care, ‘said Mr Galbraith.

Earlier in the year the Federal Government announced a $35 million-dollar commitment from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) towards developing a vaccine to combat rheumatic heart disease. This deadly disease largely affects indigenous communities in Australia. Tuesday's Budget highlighted the Government's ten-year investment plan for the MRFF.

‘It is vital that we abolish rheumatic heart disease, Heart Support Australia believes this will go a long way in closing the gap in indigenous life expectancy,’ said Mr Galbraith.

Heart Support Australia is the national body providing peer support, information and encouragement for the 4.2 Australians living with a cardiovascular condition. Heart Support Australia’s programs and services provide the physical, psychological and social support that people who have experienced a cardiac event will need to ensure improved health outcomes, quality of life and reduced risk of a secondary heart event.

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