The Australian health system has a diversity of arrangements for planning, funding, delivering and regulating health services, with a mix of private and public sector involvement.
The Australian Government, through the Health and Ageing portfolio, has significant financial and policy responsibility for health services, including hospitals, public health and mental health, while the state and territory governments are largely responsible for the direct provision of such services. Local governments and non-government organisations are also involved in the direct provision of health services. Private, non-salaried practitioners provide most medical, dental and allied health care. Two major national subsidy schemes - Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme - are funded by the Australian Government to cover all Australian citizens and permanent residents. The schemes are discussed in Health care delivery and financing. In 2007-08 total expenditure on health as a proportion of Australia's gross domestic product was 9.1%.
This chapter contains two articles. The article Children who are Overweight or Obese discusses the influence of socio-economic factors and physical activity on childhood obesity. Mental Health examines the prevalence of anxiety, affective and substance use disorders in Australians aged 16-85 years.
Data in this chapter are obtained from the most up-to-date sources available, including information from the ABS on the health status of Australians collected in the 2007-08 National Health Survey (NHS), the 2003 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) and from Causes of Death collection. Previous health surveys were conducted in 1995, 2001 and 2004-05. The chapter also draws extensively on data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA).
Data from the 2007-08 NHS in this chapter are presented using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision (ICD-10).
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