Summary

The cost of injury in Australia (both human costs and economic costs) varies with both the type and severity of injury and across different population groups. The injury-related expenditure estimates presented in this report describe the activity and characteristics of Australia’s health care system in 2015–16 in different types of injuries and patient characteristics.  

The estimates included in this report represent a detailed sub-analysis of the data presented in the Disease Expenditure in Australia 2015–16 web report. The main findings of this report are that, in 2015–16:

  • Injury was the third highest area of health care spending in Australia at $8.9 billion, after musculoskeletal disorders ($12.5 billion) and cardiovascular diseases ($10.4 billion).
  • Most injury expenditure occurred in hospitals (78%), with 37 per cent of expenditure on public admitted patients and 17 per cent in public hospital emergency departments.
  • The cause of injury associated with the most spending was Falls at $3.6 billion or 41% of total injury spending.
  • Hospitalisation rates and cause/nature of injuries varied across age groups with expenditure on hip fractures increasing substantially in people aged 65 and over.
  • Across hospital settings, the spending per person on injuries for Indigenous Australians was $397, and was $292 for non-Indigenous Australians.
  • The majority of injury spending occurred in major cities ($5.3 billion), though per person spending was highest in remote areas ($418 compared to $323 in major cities).
  • Per person spending on injuries was highest in the Northern Territory ($423) and lowest in Tasmania ($342).

Related information can be found in the Disease Expenditure in Australia web report and the accompanying Disease Expenditure 2015–16 Study: Overview of analysis and methodology report.