Spend your Strengthening Medicare grant now

2 minute read

The program ends on Sunday, so go shopping – the money won’t be rolled over to next financial year.

Practices that received a Strengthening Medicare GP Grant are due a blowout, as any grant money unspent by the end of the program won’t be rolled over. 

In April last year, the Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler announced that the federal government was committing $220 million in grants to support general practices and eligible Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations to improve their services. 

The Strengthening Medicare GP Grant program provided $25,000 to $50,000 as a one-off, practice size-dependent payment to practices, implemented through the Primary Health Networks and National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. 

Grant money was required to be spent on innovation, training, equipment and minor capital work in any one or more of the following streams: enhancing digital health capability, upgrading infection prevention and control arrangements and maintaining or achieving accreditation. 

At the end of this week, when the program closes, all practices that received a grant will be required to complete an online financial acquittal form detailing how the grant was spent, across the three categories.  

Practices will also be asked to outline how the grant helped their practice in a five- to 15-minute online self-evaluation, no later than 31 July. 

The Department of Health and Aged Care did not respond to The Medical Republic’s request for further details on whether practices would be required to return grant money not yet spent by the close of the program, 30 June, or by the evaluation response date, 31 July. 

However, the financial acquittal form suggested that funds could continue to be spent until 31 July.  

“You still have time to spend all grant funds and complete this form by 31 July 2024,” it reads. 

“We encourage you to continue to utilise the grant funds to benefit your practice.” 

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