Endometriosis support, PBS funding expanded in this year's Budget

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For two years COVID-19 has, understandably, dominated many of the Budget headlines - particularly around health spending.

So with Australia now moving into a 'living with COVID' stage of the pandemic, what are some of the other notable health spending measures outlined in this year's Budget?

First of all, the government has allocated $2.4 billion over five years towards reducing the cost of medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), with treatments for bowel cancer, breast cancer and cystic fibrosis among the new listings on the PBS.

endometriosis funding federal budget

The PBS safety nets for both concessional patients and general patients will also be reduced from July 1 of this year - a decision which the government says will benefit nearly 2.5 million Australians.

Sufferers of endometriosis - a disease which affects one in nine Australian women - were also recognised in this year's Budget.

A total of $58 million will be spent as part of a dedicated endometriosis package which includes making access to MRI scanning available through Medicare as well as the construction of specialist treatment centers throughout the country.

The endometriosis funding is part of a portion of new funding ($330 million in total) dedicated towards the National Women's Health Strategy 2020-2030, which also includes measures to provide more screening for breast and cervical cancer and to increase the awareness of cardiovascular disease in women.

Finally, the federal government has allocated $69 million in spending over the next two years towards the Japanese Encephalitis Virus National Plan.

As part of the plan the government will allocate money towards the purchase of 135,000 doses of Japanese Encephalitis Virus vaccines, a national awareness campaign and funding to the states and territories for increased surveillance of the virus.

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Tom Watson is a senior journalist at Money magazine, and one of the hosts of the Friends With Money podcast. He's previously worked as a journalist covering everything from property and consumer banking to financial technology. Tom has a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Technology, Sydney.

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