Mental health services spending on the rise

Expenditure on mental health-related services in Australia has increased in recent years, according to new figures released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on its Mental Health Services in Australia website.

'Estimated national recurrent expenditure on mental health-related services was over $7.6 billion in 2012-13, or $332 per person, an increase from $302 per person in 2008-09,' said AIHW spokesperson Geoff Neideck.

State and territory governments funded almost 60% of this expenditure, with the Australian Government funding just over 36%, and the private health insurance funding 4% of mental health-related services.

Funding by state and territory governments of mental health-related services increased by an average annual rate of 3.5% between 2008-09 and 2012-13, while funding by the Australian Government increased by an average annual rate of 5.0%.

The figures released today also include new mental health information on defence-funded programs and private hospital programs.

'For the first time, data are available on Department of Defence funded mental health programs, which indicate that in 2012-13, $24 million was allocated to these programs,' Mr Neideck said.

There were 1,578 public and private specialised mental health care facilities in Australia in 2012-13, providing 11,410 specialised mental health beds.

Over 2 million patient days were provided by public hospital mental health services during 2012-13.

There were 30,298 full-time-equivalent staff employed in state and territory specialised mental health services, with 51% employed as nurses in 2012-13.

Information on Private hospital-based ambulatory psychiatric services was also made available on the Mental Health Services in Australia website for the first time in this release. Over 15,000 private ambulatory care psychiatric patients received an average of 13 care days per patient in 2012-13. Most of these episodes were for major depression and other mood disorders (35.5%) followed by alcohol and other substance use disorder (13.3%).

The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.


Previous article Next article