One in five Australians battling chronic illness is celebrating the Federal Government’s trial of the ‘Healthier Medicare’ package, released Thursday, March 31, 2016.

Set to launch in July, 2017, the package aims to support people living with chronic illnesses, by offering them a more consistent treatment plan with access to a regular GP.

The initial trial will include approximately 65,000 patients spanning 200 medical practices nation-wide.

The main features of the package include:

  • Tailored care packages to suit an individual’s needs.
  • Home services delivered by chosen GPs to coordinate all care for individual patients.
  • Improved digital health measures.

In reference to the impact of the proposed plan for patients, Federal Health Minister, The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, told ABC that “individualised care will engage them to take an interest in what happens to them, perhaps more than some of them do, particularly when they see five different GPs and get quite a bit of confusing advice.”

The trial is part of the government’s response to the current, substantial economic burden involving the nation’s burgeoning chronic health issue – the third “most costly” health condition, which cost Australia an estimated $34 billion in 2007.  

The initiative aims to improve then nation’s healthcare system, through the implementation of homecare services, encouraging patients to live a healthier life in the comfort of their own homes, and to reduce the economic cost of treatments for chronic illness.