AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Health priority areas Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health Mothers & babies Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR - metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Data integration Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Burden of disease Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators
Chronic disease indicators Deaths Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources
Indigenous Australians International collaboration Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators Risk factors statistics Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISS MyHospitals NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Subscribe to employment notices Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Every year Australia spends more on its health, even after allowing for inflation. As a proportion of all spending on goods and services, health spending has increased from 7.9% to 9.4% over the past decade.
However, there is a lot that needs to be done with those increasing dollars, both by hospitals and in the community, and a wide range of health services are increasingly active.
On this page
Australia spent $121.4 billion on health in 2009–10, which accounted for 9.4% of total spending on all goods and services in the economy (known as gross domestic product or GDP). This averaged out to $5,479 per person.
Health spending for Australia, like other OECD countries, has increased over the past decade at a faster rate than spending on all goods and services.
As a proportion of GDP, Australia’s spending in 2009 was much less than that of the United States (17.4%), slightly less than the United Kingdom (9.8%), New Zealand (10.3%) and Canada (11.4%), and close to the OECD median (9.6%).
Find out more: ‘Chapter 8 The economics of health’ in Australia’s health 2012
Of the total health funding of $121.4 billion in 2009–10, the Australian Government contributed 44%, and state, territory and local governments 26%. Other funds were provided by individuals as out-of-pocket payments (30%), and private health insurers (8%), with small contributions from third-party motor vehicle insurers and worker’s compensation insurers.
As a share of total health spending, Australia’s out-of-pocket payments (18.2%) in 2009 were higher than the median for developed countries (15.8%).
Find out more: ‘Section 8.2 Where does our health dollar come from?’ in Australia’s health 2012
In 2009–10, hospitals were by far the biggest area of health spending. They consumed 40% of regular health spending (which in turn made up almost 96% of total health spending, the rest being for new buildings and major equipment).
The next largest component was medical services (18%), comprising mainly services provided by GPs and specialists as private practitioners. Medicines made up another 14%, followed by dental services (7%).
Find out more: ‘Section 8.3 Where does our health dollar go?’ in Australia’s health 2012
Another way to look at health spending is to consider how much money is spent on different conditions. About two-thirds of total regular health spending can be allocated to disease groupings. Of the broad groups shown, cardiovascular diseases accounted for the greatest spending ($7.9 billion or 11%) followed by oral health ($7.1 billion or 10%) and mental disorders ($6.1 billion or 8%).
Care provided to patients admitted to a hospital made up the bulk of spending for some disease groups (such as congenital anomalies (birth defects) and cancers). For other disease groups (such as oral health), a greater proportion of spending went towards services, programs and goods outside the hospital setting.
Along with increased spending on health, our health system is more and more active. Each year, GPs see more patients, a growing number of medicines are prescribed, ambulances and aero-medical services attend to and transport more people, hospitals and emergency departments are increasingly busy, and a greater number of elective surgeries are performed.
Find out more: ‘Chapter 7 Treating ill health’ in Australia’s health 2012