Proportion of population with large household expenditures on health as a share of total household expenditure or income
Australia has a universal health system called ‘Medicare’, which is a Commonwealth program that commenced on 1 February 1984. Medicare guarantees all Australian citizens and permanent residents (also some overseas visitors) access to a wide range of health services at little or no cost, including:
- Free or subsidised treatment by health professionals such as doctors, specialists, optometrists, and in specific circumstances, dentists, and other allied health practitioners via Benefits for services listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS);
- Subsidised drugs listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS); and
- Free treatment and accommodation for public patients in a public hospital funded under the National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA).