LATEST FUNDING FOR NATIONAL COVID-19 RESPONSE
The federal government is providing an extra $540 million to continue and expand Australia's COVID-19 response.
Key areas of spending:
* Extension of Australian patient access to bulk-billed COVID-19 tests under the Medicare Benefits Scheme.
* $48 million for medical research to explore multiple aspects of COVID-19, including vaccination, treatment and modelling.
* Extension of funding for the National Incident Centre within the Department of Health, which has been stood-up without a break since the Samoan measles outbreak in September 2019.
* Extension of support for the Remote Community Preparedness and Retrieval measure, which involves the rollout of vaccines in rural and remote areas using the resources and expertise of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and the Kirby Institute's Remote Point of Care Testing program.
* Extension of aged care support for workforce surge capacity, single-site restrictions, pathology services and loans to ensure facilities with falling occupancy rates don't close.
Australian Associated Press