1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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The Australian health system has a mix of private and public sector involvement, with diverse arrangements for planning, funding, delivering and regulating health services.

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. State and territory governments, local governments and non-government organisations are largely responsible for the direct provision of these services, while 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.

In 2008–09, total expenditure on health as a proportion of Australia's gross domestic product was 9.0%.

This chapter discusses these health service provision arrangements and presents a picture of the health of Australians that covers health and disability status, mortality, national health priority areas, communicable diseases, risk behaviours, health service usage and patient experiences of health services.

ABS data in this chapter are primarily obtained from the 2007–08 National Health Survey, the 2009 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, the 2010–11 Patient Experience Survey and the 2009 Causes of Death Collection. The chapter also draws extensively on information from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Unless otherwise stated, all differences between groups (e.g. males and females) are statistically significant at the 5% level.

The chapter contains two special articles, In pursuit of 2 & 5 – fruit and vegetable consumption in Australia and Co-operatives in private health insurance in Australia.

Related information on a number of aspects of health can be found in chapters 7 POPULATION, 9 INCOME AND WELFARE and 14 CULTURE AND RECREATION.

In particular, information on the Health care and social assistance industry can be found in chapters 8 LABOUR, 15 INDUSTRY STRUCTURE AND PERFORMANCE, 22 SERVICE INDUSTRIES, 25 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY and 26 RESEARCH AND INNOVATION.


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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.