In 2019–20, $140.4 billion (73% of recurrent health spending) could be attributed to specific disease groups.
Key findings in 2019–20
Spending by disease group and specific conditions
- Musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain and arthritis are responsible for more health spending than any other group of conditions ($14.6 billion, or 10.4%).
- Cardiovascular diseases ($12.7 billion) and cancer and other neoplasms ($12.1 billion) ranked second and third highest for health spending.
- Mental and substance use disorders overtook injuries in 2019–20 as the 4th highest disease group for spending ($10.8 billion).
- Over one-third of disease spending was related to musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular diseases, cancers and other neoplasms and mental and substance use disorders.
- The two conditions with the highest spending were injuries where the external cause was falls ($4.7 billion) and dental caries ($4.5 billion).
Spending by sex and age group
- For females reproductive and maternal conditions, including spending on pregnancy and birth, had the highest spending ($8.6 billion), while for males cardiovascular diseases ranked the highest ($7.2 billion).
- The bulk of spending tends to occur later in life with a peak for both males and females in the age group 70 to 74. While for females spending between the ages of 20 to 45 was substantially higher than males, largely due to spending on reproductive and maternal conditions.
Spending by area of expenditure
- Total spending generally increased with age for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), pathology, and medical imaging.
- Public hospital emergency department and allied health spending were relatively steady across age groups.
- For people admitted to public hospitals, cardiovascular diseases ($5 billion) accounted for the highest spending followed by injury ($4.7 billion) and gastrointestinal disorders ($4.2 billion).
- In private hospitals, the disease groups with the highest spending were musculoskeletal disorders ($4.9 billion) followed by cardiovascular diseases ($2.7 billion) and cancer and other neoplasms ($2.6 billion).
- Expenditure on medicines under the PBS was highest for cancer and other neoplasms ($3.0 billion), followed by musculoskeletal disorders ($2.3 billion) and cardiovascular diseases ($2.0 billion).
Spending on COVID–19
- An estimated $183 million was spent on COVID–19 in 2019–20 with $85 million spent in public hospitals,
$2 million in private hospitals and $96 million through pathology testing. Spending was distributed across all age groups but was highest for both males and females in the 30–39 age groups.
Musculoskeletal disorders had the highest estimated spending ($14.6 billion, or 10.4%).
For people admitted to public hospitals, cardiovascular diseases accounts for the highest spending, followed by injury and gastrointestinal disorders
$4.5 billion was spent on dental caries
The bulk of spending tends to occur later in life with a peak for both males and females in the age group 70 to 74.
$4.7 billion was spent on injuries where the external cause was falls
Over one-third of disease spending was related to musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular diseases, cancers and other neoplasms and mental and substance use disorders