Health Spending: Where Has the Money Gone?

With the recent release of the federal budget, we couldn’t resist an article about where the health spending dollar has gone previously….

According to a report released in March, Health Expenditure Australia 2011-12: Analysis by Sector, released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the health spending in Australia has seen a sharp spike in the last decade. However, the same increase in expenditure is not distributed evenly across states, territories and sectors. The report shows that,over the decade between 2002 and 2012, in spite ofthe increase in overall spending in all areas of health, a few areas showed faster growth than others.

The trends of health care spending varied from state to state. The growth of annual average state government expenditure for hospitals during the period between 2001-02 and 2011-12 was 4.3% in Victoria and 4.8% in New South Wales. These figures are well below the national average of 5.6%. Moreover, Western Australia was the largest spender of state government funding for hospitals. Between the years 2001-02 and 2011-12, Western Australia had more than doubled itsexpenditure on hospitals – or 2.16 times; and its annual average growth rate stood at a staggering 8.0%.

The per-person health care spending also saw a steep hike in 2011-12 when compared to 2001-02. The Western Australian government spent about $2,219 in 2011-12, which is 2.5 times more than the $891 it spent in 2001-02. Similarly, the Northern Territory, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory also doubled their per-person expenditure from 2001-02 to 2011-12.

The non-government spending national average during the period 2011-12 was $1,909 per person. It has to be noted that Victoria was the highest in non-government spending ($2,165) and Northern Territory showed the lowest figure ($1,313).

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