Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has already implemented an overhaul of the healthcare system and is expected to announce further reforms in the May Budget.
In March 2010, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced an A$50 billion (US$46.4 billion) overhaul of the healthcare system, which will free up funds for economic infrastructure over the next decade. The overhaul includes investment to add a record number of medical specialists over the next 10 years, and spending on aged care will also increase.
The government is expected to announce in its May Budget plan to slash US$2 billion in health spending over four years, by paying pharmaceutical companies less for their medicines. The plan will include increasing the use of generic medicines and ensuring that patients pay less for a range of commonly used blood-pressure and cholesterol-lowering drugs. Also under the proposed plan, people could save on the cost of prescription drugs.
Further reading - An in-depth analysis of the Australian pharmaceutical market is available from Espicom: The Pharmaceutical Market: Australia (published May 2010)