Little change in national health spending

By The Mandarin

September 25, 2019

More than $185 billion, or almost $7,500 per person, was spent on health goods and services in Australia during 2017-18, according to a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The total national spend increased by $2.2 billion on the previous period, or around 1.2% — below the growth rate.

States and territory governments’ contribution to that spend fell by $1.3 billion over the period to a total of $77.1 billion.

The Commonwealth increased its contribution by $1.8 billion to a total of $126.7 billion.

Private health insurers contribution increased by $400 million to $16.6 billion — an average of $1,470 per person covered, compared with $1,043 a decade earlier. The total number of people holding private health insurance increased by almost 2 million over the decade.

The personal out-of-pocket health costs amounted to $30.6 billion, an average of $1,578 per person.

AIHW spokesperson Dr Adrian Webster said the lower growth rate in 2017-18 was partly due to the previous year having included one-off capital expenditure on projects such as the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, and a previous spike in Commonwealth spending on new drugs to treat hepatitis C.

The report will be launched today, and is available on the AIHW website.

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