Health Budget 2019
ASUM continued its ongoing representation of the ultrasound community at the Health Budget in Canberra, Australia, on Tuesday. After many years of advocacy some of the concerns of many of our members and their patients have been recognised with the budget addressing long-term issues around Medicare indexation and access and affordability to a range of imaging services.
We welcome the new funding commitments which will end a 20-year freeze on the Medicare rebate for ultrasound and x-rays and investment in new imaging and treatment services – particularly for breast cancer patients.
Ultrasound – indexation to be reinstated 1 July 2020
The Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine (ASUM) has today welcomed the commitment of indexation following the Health Budget announcements. Access and affordability have long been a concern for our patients, with ultrasound examinations routinely used for initial disease diagnosis, as well as ongoing management.
The Australian public pays significant out-of-pocket healthcare costs for ultrasound services. Indexation for ultrasound and all imaging services have been frozen for more than 20 years. The government have committed to invest $198.6 million to increase the Medicare rebate for ultrasound and x-ray services. This will likely equate to a 1.5 to 2% increase to each Medicare item for ultrasound.