Stakeholders ready for 2018-19 Budget

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Many health stakeholders from across Australia will be making the trek to Canberra for today's 2018-19 Budget.

Health minister Greg Hunt has already announced a range of measures that will be confirmed by treasurer Scott Morrison tonight.

Mr Hunt has announced $33.8 million for mental health service Lifeline and $46.1 million to combat loneliness in the community. He has also announced $240 million for a new medicine to treat spinal muscular atrophy and almost $40 million to extend funded access to the whooping cough vaccine to pregnant women.

The forward estimates in tonight's Budget will also reflect the early years of the new five-year public hospital funding agreement between the commonwealth, states and territories.

Six of the eight states and territories have already signed-up to the deal that will provide an additional $30 billion for public hospitals from 2020.

Speaking at a media conference, Mr Hunt said mental health will be a "very important" part of this year's Budget.

"Mental health will be one of our significant health initiatives and in particular we're looking at suicide prevention and the Lifeline support is supporting a wonderful organisation that's helping people at their absolute moment of crisis," he said.

"If we can get people through that moment in the middle of the night, the darkness and the blackness where they feel isolated, if they feel that there is somebody to whom they can talk, if they can get the help, if they can get through that moment and have access to treatment, then this can literally save lives. It's a really valuable investment."

He continued, "We'll see other things in the Budget that are aimed not just at the moment of suicide prevention but early intervention in mental health across a range of areas. The other thing is of course recovery from an attempt at suicide because we know that the period after somebody is discharged from hospital is the period where they are most likely to again take steps to end their lives and you’ll find more focus on that in the coming days."