The tale of out-of-pocket spending on health care

Jane P Hall
Med J Aust 2013; 199 (7): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.10844
Published online: 7 October 2013

We need to think past aggregate subsidies to provide equitable access to essential care

It is the best of times and the worst of times. Bulk-billing rates for non-referred attendances (principally general practitioners) have reached over 82%.1 Yet there has been renewed attention focused on the growing financial burden that out-of-pocket (OOP) payments impose on patients.2 The apparent contradiction can be reconciled, but to do that we need to get beyond the headline figures.

  • Jane P Hall

  • Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW.



This represents work from the Centre for Research Excellence in the Finance and Economics of Primary Care, a project of the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, which is supported by a grant from the Department of Health and Ageing. The information and opinions contained in it do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute or the Commonwealth of Australia.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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