Estimates for total health spending capture the national aggregate of all spending on health goods and services for recurrent and capital purposes.
In 2020–21, Australia spent an estimated $220.9 billion on health. In real terms, this represented a 7.1% growth in spending from 2019–20, equating to an additional $14.6 billion (Figure 1a). The real growth in spending in 2020–21 (7.1%) was higher than the average over the decade from 2010–11 (3.4%), however, the 2020–21 value was broadly consistent with the longer-term trend. This suggests a ‘rebound’ in spending following low growth during the early stages of the pandemic associated with activity restrictions (Figure 1b). While the overall amount of spending might appear similar to previous trends, there were some signs of the pandemic impacting on the type of spending, particularly through vaccines and the government COVID-19 response funding arrangements.
Figure 1a: Nominal (a) and real (b) total health expenditure, 2010–11 to 2020–21