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While this is not a quantitative indicator, the responsible agency has identified the relevant policy/legislation appropriate for the Australian context.

Coverage of essential health services

The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that all Australians are able to access high quality health care by providing both free and subsidised healthcare services, through the public hospital system and the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). The MBS is intended to facilitate access to necessary medical treatment.


The Government combines free access to public hospital services and subsidised access to medical services and pharmaceuticals, with higher subsidies for those using a higher volume of services and those on low-incomes.  It includes targeted medical assistance, such as funding community controlled health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Medicare is built on the principles of affordable access to clinically-appropriate services to Australia’s geographically-dispersed population. To enable choice, the Australian system also provides means-tested subsidies for private health insurance premiums.