This report is a companion to Health expenditure Australia 2013-14. It provides more detail regarding trends in health expenditure between 2003-04 and 2013-14 for recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure. Recurrent expenditure is categorised according to the whether the expenditure was on hospitals, primary health care, or other health goods and services. Of particular focus in this report are trends in the sources of funds for each category of health expenditure as well as variations between jurisdictions.

Total expenditure by source of funds

As noted in Health expenditure Australia 2013-14, over the decade from 2003-04 to 2013-14, recurrent expenditure increased for all types of health goods and services, as did capital expenditure, and expenditure for all sources of funds. Growth in expenditure by governments has been relatively slow, however, over the past 2 years. In 2013-14, estimated Australian Government funding per person on health averaged $2,725, which was $653 more in real terms than in 2003-04 but just $30 more in real terms than in the previous year.

All state and territory governments except New South Wales reduced their per person expenditure in 2012-13. In 2013-14, Queensland, Western Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory continued to decrease their per person expenditure.

Trends in recurrent expenditure

In 2013-14, $58.8 billion was spent on Hospitals in Australia, $54.7 billion on Primary health care and $32.0 billion on Other health goods and services.

H ospitals made up around 40% of recurrent expenditure throughout the decade, Primary health care accounted for 38% and the remaining 22% was for Other health goods and services.

In 2012-13 and 2013-14, Unreferred medical services attracted the highest share of Primary health care funding at 19.1% and 19.3%, respectively. This was different to earlier in the decade, when benefit-paid pharmaceuticals attracted the most spending from 2008-09 to 2011-12. Related to this, growth in expenditure on benefit-paid pharmaceuticals slowed in the last 3 years compared with the rest of the decade. This slower growth in expenditure was in contrast to a steady increase in the number of prescriptions dispensed over the same period; this suggests that slower expenditure growth in this case did not necessarily mean fewer services.

Around 50% of Other health goods and services expenditure is through Referred medical services, with an expenditure of $16.1 billion in 2013-14. The fastest growth in expenditure on Referred medical services over the decade was by private health insurers (6.1%), who also had the highest growth in 2013-14 (5.5%).

Trends in capital expenditure

In 2013-14, there was $9.1 billion in Capital expenditure related to health.

There was a relatively rapid increase in Capital expenditure by the state and territory and local governments between 2009-10 and 2011-12, which was supported by the $5.0 billion Health and Hospitals Fund established by the Australian Government in 2009. Capital expenditure by the non-government sector increased from $2.8 billion in 2003-04 to $4.3 billion in 2013-14.