Australia spent in excess of $130 billion on health in 2010-11, according to a report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).


The Health Expenditure Australia 2010-11 report found that spending on health reached an estimated $130.3 billion in 2010-11, up from $122.5 billion in 2009-10.


“While total health expenditure has risen, health expenditure as a proportion of Australia's gross domestic product (GDP) dropped slightly compared to the previous year,” said AIHW Director and CEO David Kalisch.


In 2010–11, health expenditure as a percentage of GDP was 9.3%, compared to 9.4% in 2009–10.


“In recent years, the ratio of health expenditure to GDP has risen—however this was largely the result of a slowing in GDP growth following the global financial crisis, rather than extraordinary health expenditure growth,” Mr Kalisch said.


The AIHW attributes the growth in health expenditure to the increasing volume of health goods and services purchased, rather than the changing price of services.


“This increase in volume is more related to population growth than additional expenditure per person,” Mr Kalisch said.


The largest component of the increase in expenditure in 2010–11 was a $2.2 billion rise in spending on public hospitals, followed by spending on medications, which grew by $2.1 billion.


Almost 70% of total health expenditure during 2010–11 was funded by governments, with the Australian Government contributing 42.7%, and state and territory governments contributing 26.4%. The remaining 30.9% was funded by individuals, private health insurers, and other non-government sources.


The full report can be found here