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Winners and losers from the South Australian budget

10 September 2018
On Tuesday 4 September 2018, the 2018-19 South Australian (SA) state budget was handed down. This year’s budget included several measures targeted to mental health and other health services in the state.

Key mental health spending commitments:
  • $10 million over 4 years for a new specialist borderline personality disorder service
  • $3.3 million over 4 years to establish a dedicated paediatric eating disorder service, including a Centre of Excellence for people living with BPD and their families and carers
  • $2.5 million over 4 years for additional suicide prevention services.
Additional health spending commitments:
  • $20 million over 4 years for a rural health workforce strategy to address the shortage of health practitioners in rural areas
  • $16 million over 4 years to establish a new Commission of Excellence and Innovation in Health to provide leadership and advice on clinical best practice
  • $7.5 million over 3 years for real-time prescription monitoring
  • $2.6 million over 4 years to establish an Adult Safeguarding Unit to responds to reports of abuse, neglect or mistreatment of vulnerable adults.
The Government also announced that a review of South Australia’s Rights of Private Practice arrangements will be initiated as a priority.

Currently, SA clinicians contribute 9% of the income they generate treating private patients in the public system towards the costs of public health facilities, which is a lower contribution compared to other states.

The review will aim to bring the contribution to the public health system closer to the level of costs recovered in other jurisdictions.