The ratios of government health spending to total government expenses and government health spending to tax revenue provide a broad indication of the amount of government financial resources being dedicated to health over time, how this compares with other sectors and how the mix of revenue sources being used to fund health is changing. In this context, comparisons to total government spending represents total government resourcing in terms of both tax revenue and other sources, including borrowing.
In 2020–21, government health spending was $156.0 billion, which accounted for 15.4% of total government expenses, approximately 0.3 percentage points lower than 2019–20 (Figure 7). This is attributed to total government expenses growing faster than health spending (12.1% compared with 9.5% over 2020–21, in nominal terms). It is also indicative of a rapid increase in government expenses funded by non-tax revenues and other sources (including borrowing).
During 2020–21, spending on health by all governments represented 26.8% of government tax revenue (Figure 7). This figure shows 2 consecutive years of increase in this ratio and put the ratio higher than at any other point since 1995–96, when consistent data became available.
Figure 7: Ratios of government health spending to government expenses and government tax revenue, current prices, 2010–11 to 2020–21