Expenditure on chronic kidney disease

What is expenditure on chronic kidney disease?

This web page provides recent data on health care expenditure on chronic kidney disease (CKD), with details by type of condition, health care service, age group, and sex.

It includes expenditure by the Australian Government; state, territory, and local governments; and the non-government sector (including private health insurance and individual contributions).

These estimates report direct, allocated and recurrent expenditure only. They do not account for the total amount spent on kidney health.

Further information on how the estimates were derived is available from the Disease expenditure in Australia web report.

How much is spent on chronic kidney disease?

In 2018–19, an estimated 1.3% of total allocated expenditure in the Australian health system ($1.8 billion) was attributed to chronic kidney disease (AIHW 2021).

The average health system spending per case of CKD in 2018–19 was $2,326 (males $3,012, females $1,727) (AIHW 2022).

Where is the money spent?

In 2018–19, most allocated CKD expenditure (89% or $1.6 billion) was spent on hospital services. This included expenditure on public hospital admitted patients ($1.0 billion), private hospital services ($330 million), public hospital outpatients ($180 million) and public hospital emergency departments ($9.1 million).

Another 4% ($77 million) related to non-hospital medical services (primary care), comprising general practitioner services ($31 million), specialist services ($20 million), medical imaging ($9.6 million), pathology ($16 million) and allied health and other services ($0.5 million).

A small amount of CKD expenditure (0.4% or $7 million) was for dental services.

The remaining 6% ($110 million) was spent on prescription pharmaceuticals subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) (Figure 1). 

Figure 1: Health system expenditure on chronic kidney disease, by area of expenditure, 2018–19

The bar chart shows the amount of money (AUD) spent on chronic kidney disease in 2018-19, by area of expenditure. The largest area of expenditure was ‘public hospital admitted patient’, which cost over $1billion in 2018-19, followed by private hospital services, public hospital outpatient services, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme services, general practitioner services and specialist services.

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Who is the money spent on?

Expenditure on CKD in 2018–19 was low among young people but rose sharply from ages 40–44, to be highest among men and women aged 75–79 (Figure 2).

Expenditure on CKD was higher among males than females at all ages. From ages 70–74 to age 85 and over, expenditure for men was 1.6 times as high as that for women.

Most of this difference related to expenditure on hospital services, where a total of
$942 million was spent on males, compared with $624 million on females.

Expenditure on non-hospital medical services (primary care) was similar among males and females ($40 million and $37 million, respectively).

Expenditure on prescription pharmaceuticals was higher among males ($62 million) than females ($47 million).

Figure 2: Health system expenditure on chronic kidney disease, by age and sex, 2018–19

The bar chart shows the amount of money (AUD) spent on chronic kidney disease in 2018-19 by age and sex. The overall expense of CKD increased with age up until 75-79 years, after which it fell with increasing age. Expenditure was higher for males than females across all age groups.

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AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2021) Disease expenditure in Australia 2018–19, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 1 February 2022.

AIHW (2022) Health system spending per case of disease and for certain risk factors, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 7 April 2022.