Health expenditure highlights

  • Total health expenditure includes recurrent and capital expenditure by Australian governments and individuals. In 1991-92 it was $33.2 billion or $1,904 per person.
  • Health expenditure increased in constant prices at an average annual  rate of 3.9 per cent from 1984-85 to 1991-92 giving a total increase in the period of 30.8 per cent.
  • Health expenditure per person increased at an average annual rate of 2.4 per cent in constant prices between 1984-85 and 1991-92.
  • Health expenditure as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated  to be 8.6 per cent in 1991-92. The increase from the previous year's ratio of 8.2 per cent is largely the result of the low growth  in real GDP of 0.2 per cent in 1991-92.
  • The private sector's share of health expenditure increased from 28.2 per cent in 1984-85 to 32.0 per cent in 1991-92. This increase in the private sector's share was reflected in the fall in the public sector's share, from 46.0 per cent to 42.6 per cent for the Commonwealth Government and from 25.8 per cent to 25.4 per cent for State and local governments between 1984-85 and 1991-92.
  • Tax rebates on medical expenditure, paid by the Commonwealth Government, represented 0.2% to 0.3% of the Commonwealth's health expenditure over the 1984-85 to 1991-92 period.
  • The health services subgroup of the CPI increased, on average, twice as fast as the CPI and health price index in the period 1984-85 to 1991-92. The health services CPI subgroup only covers the privately funded portion {health insurance funds and individuals) of health expenditure, which was 26.5 per cent of total health expenditure in 1989-90 (see page 27).
  • From 1984-85 to 1989-90 health prices increased at a similar rate to Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) but slower than the Consumer Price Index (CPI). From 1989-90 to 1991-92, health prices increased by 8.6 per cent, somewhat faster than the 7.3 per cent increase in the CPl.