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Definitions for data items in the health expenditure data cubes

Financial year | Source of funds | Area of expenditure | Constant price expenditure | Measures

Financial year

This cube contains Australian health expenditure data for the period 1985–86 onwards.

'Year' refers to the financial year 1 July to 30 June.

Source of funds

The health expenditure cubes show who funds the spending on health goods and services, rather than who actually incurs the expenditure. The broad funding sources are government (separated into Australian Government and state/local governments), and non-government (private health insurance funds, individuals, injury compensation insurers and other non-government).

Australian Government comprises the Department of Veterans' Affairs, the Department of Health, and the Department of the Treasury, the health insurance premium rebates and a residual category named Other Australian Government. Funding from the Treasury is composed of Australian Government specific purpose payments (SPPs) and national partnership payments (NPPs) to states and territories. The health insurance premium rebate category has two components, namely 'Premium rebates (claimed through funds)' and 'Premium rebates (claimed through tax)'.

The category 'Injury compensation insurers' consists of workers' compensation insurers and motor vehicle third-party insurers.

'Other non-government' includes other funding by some service providers (e.g. from interest earned).

Area of expenditure

Data for individual areas of health expenditure, such as public hospitals, medical services and community health are obtained by drilling down through this menu. Also available are various totals as defined below:

Total health expenditure is the sum of direct expenditure and tax expenditure.

Direct expenditure is the sum of recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure.

Recurrent expenditure is the sum of expenditures on all health goods and services, except for health capital.

Hospitals consist of public hospitals and private hospitals.

Medications comprise benefit-paid pharmaceuticals and all other medications.

Constant price expenditure

Constant price health expenditure is expressed in terms of the prices of the current reporting year. This concept is explained in more detail in AIHW Health expenditure Australia publications.


The measures available in this cube are:

  • health expenditure in current prices ($ million)
  • health expenditure in constant prices ($ million)
  • health expenditure per person in current prices ($)
  • health expenditure per person in constant prices ($)
  • the ratio (%) of health expenditure to gross domestic product (GDP) in current prices (National cubes only).

For further definitions, refer to the Glossary in Health expenditure Australia publications.