Saturday, February 24, 2024

Health

Australia's health spending in Covid-19 response tops $30bn: Report

IANS | November 29, 2023 02:14 PM

CANBERRA: Australia's spending on the health response to the Covid-19 pandemic topped $30 billion through its first three years, a government report revealed on Wednesday.

The report, which was published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), found that Australia's total estimated government health spending in response to the pandemic from the start of financial year 2019-20 to the end of financial year 2021-22 was A$47.9 billion ($31.8 billion), reports Xinhua news agency.

Of that total, A$27.9 billion were spent on primary care, including A$6.1 billion on the vaccine rollout, and A$10.5 billion on public hospitals.

Geoff Callagan, a health economics expert from the AIHW, said in a media release that the spike in Australia's health spending in response to Covid-19 was low compared to most of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

"Australia's health spending from 2020 to 2022 was 2 per cent higher than expected, based on a linear forecast of the 10 years preceding Covid-19, " he said.

"This is referred to as 'additional health spending'. Australia had the seventh lowest additional health spending out of 36 countries."

According to AIHW data, Australia's total excess mortality from 2020 to 2022 was 4 per cent higher than the expected mortality.

In addition to government spending, the report revealed that Australians spent an estimated A$878 million out of their own pockets on Covid-related services and items, of which rapid antigen tests (RATs) accounted for 67.9 per cent.

Have something to say? Post your comment