An additional $106.8 million over four years from 2018-19 has been allocated towards modernising the health and aged care payments system in this week’s Federal Budget. 

The funding adds to the $67.3 million provided for in the 2017-18 budget for a new digital payments platform for health and aged care.

The government announced in October 2016 that it was replacing a 30-year-old system, which had been causing major technical issues, such as lengthy payment delays and inaccuracies for aged care providers.

The funding will go towards replacing and decommissioning ageing ICT systems, upgrading cyber security and the introduction of user experience improvements for consumers and providers of health and aged care services, the budget shows.

The payment system will also ensure that the Government continues to own and operate ICT systems that support the delivery of Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and aged care, it said.

The budget also includes $22 million over five years from 2017-18 for the previously announced initiatives to protect the rights of older Australians from abuse.

The funding will go towards an elder abuse knowledge hub, a national prevalence research scoping study and a national plan to address elder abuse being developed by the Commonwealth, states and territories governments in consultation with industry and community groups.

The development of the national elder abuse plan, which was announced by the government at the National Elder Abuse Conference in February, was a key recommendation of the June 2017 Australian Law Reform Commission report on elder abuse.

The measure will support the expansion and evaluation of trials of specialist support systems, including specialist elder abuse units located in legal services, health-justice partnerships and family counselling in mediation services.

Related budget coverage: Residential places to go to consumers, new bond levy for providers

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