Friday, May 05, 2017

Victorian Budget - health and dental health provisions

The Victorian Government announced the 2017-18 budget earlier this week. At the 2 May DHHS Budget Briefing, the Victorian Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Hon Jill Hennessy expressed a view of hope and optimism for the coming year in Health and Human Services in Victoria. Thirty-eight percent of the total State Budget ($23.2 B) was allocated to the DHHS portfolios – an 11% increase on last year.

There was a significant whole of government investment in tackling family violence, with $1.9 B provided to address all of the recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Family Violence.

Significant investments were also made in the acute health sector, for building and upgrading hospitals, and to meet demand for care (e.g. reducing elective surgery waiting lists).

Other noteworthy priorities include an investment in enhancing the quality and safety of Victoria’s healthcare system ($215 M), and $10 M for Better Care Victoria for the next funding round of its state-wide innovation fund.

The following budget provisions were made in the dental sector:
  • $226.1 M for public dental care, which appears to be an increased investment of $20.1M (9.7%) over last year. The higher target reflects additional third-party revenue for Dental Health Services Victoria.
  • Note that last year the amount reported to be spent on public dental services was $247.6 M, including $206.2 M from the State Government, and $19M from the Commonwealth Government in the NPA on Adult Public Dental Services. It’s not clear how the remaining $22.4 M is accounted for.
  • Further NPA funding from the Commonwealth for adult public dental services is still under negotiation. This may potentially be disclosed in the Federal Budget on 9 May.
  • Additional funding of note related to the dental sector includes $7.9 M to the Office of the Health Complaints Commissioner, which will support them to undertake their expanded regulatory role. NB. The ADAVB lobbied for increased funding for the HCC in it's budget submissions.
  • An investment will also be made in Cancer prevention for screening for breast, bowel and oral cancer – “$14 million to deliver more cancer screening and detection measures, including funding to provide 10,000 additional breast screens, increase the number of Victorians participating in the National Bowel Cancer Screening program and deliver a training program for oral health professionals to identify oral cancers during routine check-ups.” (emphasis added)
Further information: