This report looks at health expenditure estimates per person for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians at the regional level. It also, for the first time, provides estimates of expenditure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by disease and injury groups. This analysis shows differences in expenditure and service use that can be hard to detect in more aggregated statistics.
- Health expenditure per person on selected health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people varied across remoteness areas, generally increasing with remoteness.
- Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) expenditure per person was lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across all remoteness areas, although the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians decreased with remoteness.
- Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) expenditure per person on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people was highest in Remote/very remote areas, but for non-Indigenous Australians it was highest in Inner regional areas and Major cities.
- Overall, Indigenous hospital separation rates were higher than non-Indigenous rates, but the rate ratios varied across remoteness areas. The highest rate ratios were in Remote/very remote areas.
- Overall, the average cost per hospital separation across all remoteness areas was higher for Indigenous Australians than for non-Indigenous Australians.
- Genitourinary diseases were responsible for the highest proportion of hospital separations among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These separations were largely for care involving dialysis.
- In 2006–07, genitourinary diseases, mental and behavioural disorders, and maternal conditions had the highest expenditure for Indigenous hospital separations, while cardiovascular diseases, unintentional injuries and malignant neoplasms had the highest expenditure for non-Indigenous hospital separations.