Health hip pocket pain hitting Australians hard

New Consumers Health Forum (CHF) campaign reveals Australia has among the highest out of pocket healthcare costs in the world.

Australia is now in the top 5 highest spending nations in the world when it comes to Hip Pocket Pain. Australians (per person) now pay double the amount in out of pocket costs of people in the UK or France.

CHF represents over 2 million health consumers through its networks across the nation and says a staggering 19.3%(1) of the nation’s total health costs are now being paid by health consumers straight out of their own pockets.

Australians pay $1075 a year in average out of pocket costs – $94 above the weighted average for OECD western nations(2).

A two-tiered health system is developing in Australia, giving better care access to those who can afford to pay while others struggle to afford essential health services.

Evidence of the growing inequity of this Hip Pocket Pain, and experts’ calls for systemic change to the health system, are published in the latest Health Voices, the CHF journal.

Breast cancer survivor Leonie Havnen says thousands of Australians (including herself) are now using superannuation funds to pay for spiralling medical bills and says it is shameful.

Consumers Health Forum CEO Carol Bennett says Australians are among the hardest hit in the world when it comes to out of pocket costs and data show more and more people are not seeing medical specialists, doctors and dentists nor getting scripts, purely because of cost(3).


1 Source: AIHW Health Expenditure 2010-2011
2 Source: AIHW Health Expenditure 2010-2011
3 Source: ABS