Last night the Federal Government handed down the 2014-15 Budget which included positives for people with MS, their carers and loved ones but also barriers that threaten to undermine the good news.
Specifically the budget included:
- The announcement of a $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund that will contribute to ground breaking research in diseases like cancer, alzheimers and multiple sclerosis
- A renewed commitment to the planned rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme
- The introduction of Medicare co payments. The cost of people seeing a GP will be $7 per visit. This charge will also apply to visits for out-of-hospital pathology and imaging services, such as getting an X-Ray or an MRI
- Money raised from this scheme will contribute to the Medical Research Future Fund.
The Treasurer has announced that both the DSP and the Carer Payment will from now on be CPI indexed rather than indexed to Average Male Weekly Earnings as is currently the case.
People under the age of 35 accessing the Disability Support Pension will be required to be assessed periodically by GPs in order to determine their ability to work and eligibility for the Disability Support Pension.
A $5 prescription fee for each script of a treatment listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme will be introduced from January 1 next year.
In response to the Budget both MS Australia and MS Research Australia issued these media releases.