In 2018–19, an estimated $195.7 billion was spent on health goods and services in Australia. This equates to an average of approximately $7,772 per person and constituted 10% of overall economic activity for this period.

After adjusting for inflation, total health spending (recurrent and capital) was 3.1% more than in 2017–18. This was slightly lower than the average yearly growth rate over the decade to 2018–19 (3.5%).

During 2018–19, more than two-thirds (68.3%) of health spending was by governments— $80.6 billion by the Australian Government and $53.0 billion by state and territory governments. Government health spending represented 24.3% of government tax revenue, marginally decreased from 24.5% in 2017–18.

Non-government entities (including individuals, private health insurance providers, injury compensation insurers and other private sources) spent $62.1 billion on health in 2018–19. Individuals were the largest contributor to this at $31.8 billion (2.3% more than 2017–18).

More is being spent on hospitals and primary health care

During 2018–19, spending increased on most areas of health. The greatest increases in recurrent spending were for:

  • hospitals, a $2.8 billion increase in real terms. The $79 billion spent on hospitals was equivalent to 40.4% of total health spending. Of this, $61.8 billion was spent on public hospitals (4.0% more than in the previous year) and $17.2 billion on private hospitals (2.5% higher than 2017–18).
  • primary health care, a $0.9 billion increase in real terms. A total of $65.5 billion was spent. Of this, $12.3 billion was on unreferred (mainly general practice) medical services. Spending on subsidised pharmaceuticals and other medications were roughly the same ($11.7 billion each).