The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) pandemic has been one of the biggest public health challenges Australia has faced since the Influenza pandemic of 1918 around 100 years ago.
COVID–19 is included as an infectious disease within the ABDS conditions and in this study it captures the estimated spending that can be identified by age group and sex for patients who were confirmed or suspected COVID–19 positive patients that were treated in either a public hospital emergency department, public hospital admitted patient or in a private hospital. It also includes GP and specialist attendances related to COVID–19 and pathology testing for COVID–19 claimed through the MBS. In 2020–21, an estimated $2.6 billion was spent on COVID–19.
The COVID–19 spending in this report excludes payments under the National Partnership on COVID–19 Response (NPCR) as well as any community or public health related spending on COVID–19 outside of the NPCR. For further information on this spending refer to the report Health system spending on COVID–19 on the response to COVID-19 in Australia 2019–20 to 2021–22.
The following interactive data visualisation (Figure 13) can be used to see spending on COVID–19 by sex and age group. Data used to create the visualisation is available to download from the data tables.
Figure 13: Expenditure on COVID–19 by age group and sex, 2020–21
This visualisation shows COVID-19 spending by area, sex and age group. People 30-34 years had the highest expenditure related to COVID-19 in 2020–21.
The following interactive data visualisation (Figure 14) can be used to see spending on COVID–19 by sex, age group and area of expenditure. Data used to create the visualisation is available to download from the data tables.
Figure 14: COVID–19 spending by detailed area of expenditure, sex and age group, 2020–21
This visualisation has COVID-19 spending by detailed area of expenditure, sex and age group in 2020–21.
The costs identified as COVID-19 in the disease expenditure database are part of a wider set of COVID-19 payments many of which are unable to be identified by aged group and sex at this point in time. These payments include:
- Australian Government payments to the state and territory health authorities under the National Partnership on COVID-19 Response (NPCR)
- Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care payments related to COVID-19 that are outside of the NPCR including programs for private hospitals, medical services, community health, pharmaceuticals, public health, administration, health research, health workforce, capital and aged care
- State and territory government health authority payments under the NPCR.
- Estimated costs for out-of-pocket payments for respirators, face masks and shields
The report Health system spending on the response to COVID–19 in Australia 2019-20 to 2021–22examines Australia’s health system spending in response to the COVID–19 pandemic over the period 2019–20 to 2021–22. It covers funding by government and non–government, in key areas of expenditure: primary health care, (including MBS unreferred medical services, community and public health), hospitals, referred medical services, aged care and other health related areas of spending. In addition, this report compares Australia’s COVID–19 spending to other OECD countries and provides a comparison of excess mortality during the pandemic.