Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Release Date
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
4704.0 - The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/04/2008   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Health Services—Provision, Access and Use >> PROVISION OF HEALTH SERVICES

PROVISION OF HEALTH SERVICES

Expenditure on health goods and services

Examining expenditure on health goods and services is one way of understanding the ways in which health resources are delivered and used. Expenditures reflect needs on which resources have been spent, rather than overall needs or needs that have not been met. Expenditures can also provide some broad insights into the use of health services. But any such interpretation must be undertaken with care, because the amount of expenditure incurred for a given level of use can also be affected by factors such as the demographic composition of the population and its geographic distribution. Thus, information about expenditure must be considered alongside the information about the numbers, types and locations of services that are presented in this and other chapters of this report.

In 2004-05, estimated expenditure on health goods and services for Indigenous Australians was $2,304 million or 2.8% of total health expenditure (table 10.1). More than two-thirds (67%) of the 2004-05 expenditure was on publicly provided health services such as public hospitals (46%) and community health services (22%).

10.1 EXPENDITURE ON HEALTH GOODS AND SERVICES, by area of expenditure, current prices - 2004-05

Total expenditure ($m)
Average per person expenditure ($)
Service
Indigenous
Non-Indigenous
Indigenous
Non-Indigenous
Ratio(a)

Hospitals
1 080.7
27 337.6
2 213
1 386
1.6
Public hospital services(b)
1 048.6
21 042.7
2 147
1 067
2.0
Admitted patient services
799.4
16 226.8
1 637
823
2.0
Non-admitted patient services
249.2
4 815.8
510
244
2.1
Private hospitals
32.1
6 295.0
66
319
0.2
High-level residential care
41.7
6 283.4
85
319
0.3
Patient transport
103.5
1 369.9
212
69
3.1
Medical services
164.6
14 483.5
337
734
0.5
Community health services
497.8
3 052.7
1 019
155
6.6
Dental and other health practitioners
78.0
7 811.8
160
396
0.4
Medications
109.4
11 056.4
224
561
0.4
Aids and appliances
18.6
2 591.4
38
131
0.3
Public health
88.9
1 350.3
182
68
2.7
Research
46.0
1 669.0
94
85
1.1
Health administration n.e.c.
74.6
2 254.5
153
114
1.3
Total
2 304.0
79 260.4
4 718
4 019
1.2

(a) Average per person expenditure on Indigenous Australians divided by the average per person expenditure on other Australians.
(b) Excludes any dental services, community health services, patient transport services, public health and health research undertaken by the hospital.
Source: AIHW 2008a


On a per person basis, average expenditure on health goods and services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was $4,718 - some 17% higher than the expenditure for non-Indigenous people ($4,019). Considering the high level of morbidity among Indigenous Australians, and mortality rates that are more than twice those for other Australians, these figures suggest that expenditures for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were not sufficient to match needs (AHMAC 2006).

In 2004-05, average expenditure on services for Indigenous people was greater than that for non-Indigenous Australians in a number of program areas. These included community health services (where average expenditure on Indigenous people was 6.6 times higher than for non-Indigenous people), patient transport (over 3.1 times higher) and public health, including prevention of hazardous and harmful drug use, cancer screening and environmental health (2.7 times higher) (table 10.1).

In contrast, average expenditure on some goods and services provided outside public hospitals was lower for Indigenous Australians than for non-Indigenous Australians. For example, average expenditures on high level residential care, medical services, medications, and dental and other health practitioners were less than half of that for non-Indigenous Australians.

Over the nine years to 2004-05, expenditure on health services on a per person basis for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has been between 14% and 20% higher than for other Australians (AIHW 2008a). A number of factors should be noted when reviewing changes over time, including that the methodology for developing estimates has changed. Thus, caution should be exercised when interpreting changes in expenditures over time.





Previous PageNext Page


Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.