The Australian, state and territory and local governments share funding responsibility for health and welfare services.

The AIHW collects, analyses and publishes estimates of expenditure on health and welfare. We also focus on the cost of health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the cost of diseases.

This work involves being aware not only of the overall level of expenditure, but also of the societal, political and economic pressures that influence the way funding is provided and used. Expenditure is analysed in terms of who provides the services, who funds them and what types of services are funded.

Important issues to consider when analysing and reporting on health and welfare expenditure include:

  • Which services are expanding the most rapidly and which are contracting in terms of funding?
  • Who funds these services?
  • How does expenditure by the Australian Government compare with that of state, territory and local governments?
  • What are the respective roles of the government and private sectors in funding these services?
  • How much do individuals pay, from their own pockets, for health care? How much is funded by health insurance?
  • How does expenditure compare between states and territories?