3.21 Expenditure on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health compared to need

This measure reports on health-related expenditure for Indigenous Australians.

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Why is it important?

This measure reports on health‑related expenditure. A basic principle of equity is that health expenditure should reflect the relative needs for health services (Braveman & Gruskin 2003; Whitehead 1992). Health expenditure for population groups with higher levels of need should be proportionately higher. A broad assessment of how well this principle is implemented is provided by comparing differentials in health status with differences in per capita health expenditure (AHMAC 2017).

Related measures

Data sources

  • Department of Health Data
  • Expenditure on Health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People


  • Braveman P & Gruskin S 2003. Defining equity in health. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 57:254–8.
  • Whitehead M 1992. The concepts and principles of equity and health. International Journal of Health Services 22:429–45.