Trends by area of spending

In 2019–20, total health spending was distributed across health services, with estimates of:

  • 41.2% ($83.5 billion) on hospitals
  • 33.1% ($66.9 billion) on primary health care
  • 10.0% ($20.2 billion) on referred medical services

The remaining 15.7% or $31.9 billion, was on other services, research and capital spending (Figure 23).

Figure 23: Proportion of total health spending, by area of expenditure, current prices, 2009–10 to 2019–20

The line graph shows that the proportion of total health spending spent on each area of spending remained relatively stable between 2009–10 and 2019–20. Hospitals and primary health care attracted the most funding over the decade. In 2019–20, hospitals received 41.2 per cent of total health spending, followed by primary health care received 33.1 per cent. In the same year, referred medical services attracted 10.0 per cent of total funding; other services received 7.0 per cent, and research receiving 3.3 per cent. The proportion of funds allocated to capital spending over the decade was most volatile, at 7 per cent in 2016–17 compared with 4.8 per cent in 2009–10. Capital spending was 5.5 per cent of total health spending in 2019–20.