Australians are spending more money treating musculoskeletal injuries than “any other condition, disease or injury,” a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) suggests.
Released this week, Disease expenditure in Australia 2018-19, evaluated more than 70% of the given country’s spending on recurrent healthcare ($136 billion).
“Overall, musculoskeletal disorders attracted the most spending at $14 billion, followed by cardiovascular diseases ($11.8 billion), cancer and other neoplasms ($11.8 billion), and mental and substance use disorders ($10.5 billion),” AIHW spokesperson Dr. Andrew Webster said.
However, the report also observed demographic differences in spending across gender.
For instance, while the most that men spent across the 2018-19 period on healthcare was $6.7 billion for cardiovascular disease treatments, for women, most money was directed towards reproductive and maternal health services, with women spending $8.7 billion in this area.
The differences between men and women spending on health were also dependent on age, Dr. Webster noted.
“For males, the bulk of spending tends to occur later in life. However, spending for females between the ages of 20 to 45 is substantially higher than for males, largely due to spending on birth and reproduction related conditions,” Dr Webster said.
However, the overall spend on healthcare across age was less notable, with expenditure most highly concentrated across the 70-74 year old health consumer cohort, while children aged 5-9 years of age spent the least amount of money on healthcare.
Differences in expenditure also varied among healthcare sites, with oral disorders ($7.8 billion) the dominant spending area for primary healthcare consumers; cardiovascular disease ($4.4 billion) and musculoskeletal disorders ($4.9 billion) were the areas of highest expenditure in public and private hospitals respectively.
For more information and demographic breakdowns on spending, the full Disease expenditure in Australia 2018-19 report can be found at the AIHW website.