In 2021–22, an estimated $241.3 billion was spent on health goods and services in Australia. This equated to an average of approximately $9,365 per person and comprised 10.5% of overall economic activity.

After adjusting for inflation, total health spending (recurrent and capital) was 6.0% more than in 2020–21. This was higher than the average yearly growth rate over the decade to 2021–22 (3.4%).

Growth in per person health expenditure in 2021–22 was 5.4% in real terms, similar to the growth in 2020–21 (6.6%), but well above the average growth rate over the decade up to 2021–22 of 2.0%. This can be attributed to the impact of the pandemic which resulted in increased health expenditure and decreased population growth.

Governments funded around 72.9% of health spending – $105.8 billion by the Australian Government and $70.2 billion by state and territory governments in 2021–22.

Unlike the previous year, when health spending by government and non-government sources increased, in 2021-22 government spending grew by 9.5% while non-government spending declined by 2.4% in real terms.

The ratio of government health spending to total government expenses across all portfolios increased by 1.8 percentage points (from 15.5% in 2020–21 to 17.2% in 2021–22). This indicates that growth in government health spending grew stronger than other areas of government expenses.

During 2021–22, the greatest increases in recurrent spending were for: 

  • primary health care, a $8.3 billion (10.9%) increase in real terms, which was associated with increased spending related to the pandemic, such as COVID-19 vaccines, and personal protective equipment.
  • hospitals, a $4.2 billion (4.6%) increase in real terms. This growth in hospital spending was partially driven by an increase in hospitalisations involving a COVID-19 diagnosis.