Australia 's Health Care System

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1.0 Introduction

Health expenditure1 results when funds are spent on health goods and health care service delivery and this can either by borne by government or non-government bodies such as private health insurers and even individual citizens.

Since the implementation of universal health insurance in 1984, Australians have had a health care system that consists of government and a combination of public and private financing. Australia has struggled2 to maintain its long-held and often-tested commitment to universal access to health care.

The Australian Government expenditure on health3 was estimated at $154.6 billion in 2013–14. Governments provided $104.8 billion (or 67.8%) of total health expenditure, which represented about 25% of taxation revenue (unchanged from 2012–13). The non-government sector share of total expenditure increased from 30.0% in 2011–12 to 32.2% in 2013–14. Funding by individuals was the fastest growing area of non-government sector expenditure over the decade.

1.1. Problem Statement

Australia, like most other developed countries, is experiencing an increase in the demand for health care4 in conjunction with a rise in health care costs which are a result of ageing population, increase in multi disease burden such as the likes on Non-communicable diseases and the need for complex and sometimes expensive forms of medical treatment.

In order to ensure that health care systems are responsive to public demands and needs, alternative means of
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