Essay on a Comparison Between Health Funding in the United States and Australia

Published: 2021/11/12
Number of words: 1117

In every country, health systems can effectively meet all the health needs of their citizens by utilizing some of the available financial resources through health funding. The financing factor is fundamental in impacting health system effectiveness to improve accessibility and delivery of primary care. Health funding also helps in purchasing, pooling, and resource mobilization in a healthcare facility. In the United States, the health funding process is through government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare (Shrank et al., 2021). In Australia, health financing is primarily through Medicare; permanent residents and all other citizens; have access to this program (Australians Institutions of health and welfare, 2020). Therefore, the USA and Australia have comparisons and similarities on how the health funding process functions in many ways.

Health Funding in the United States

The United States of America (USA) healthcare system is through self-provision. The organization of this system allows citizens of the USA to become responsible for healthcare costs when in need of healthcare services. However, (Johnson & Walston 2020, p. 217) argue that health insurance is complex since it makes it unaffordable for most Americans because some mortgage costs surpass $1,000 per month. The healthcare system focusses on improving equity, affordability, and accessibility to health services. According to Shrank et al. (2021), the maximum utilization of the Medicaid program provides the ultimate opportunity to boost health equity and improve coverage. Besides, the healthcare coverage by the private third-party sectors is 40 percent of resource funds for the healthcare services, the public covers 48 percent, and the citizens cover the remaining 12 percent (Mohammed, 2019). It is also important to note that private organizations cover USA citizens than public financing to receive healthcare-related services.

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Health Funding in Australia

The health funding in Australia is a bit different from the majority of developed nations. Most of the private organizations are engaged to determine the overall good health of the people of Australia. According to Kerr and Hendrie (2018), the goal of the Australian government is to ensure equitable access to healthcare services is patient-based, innovative, sustainable, efficient, and effective: but this is not appropriate for acute health services. Instead, the government partners with the public and private sectors to ensure health funding. In this case, (Australians Institutions of health and welfare, 2020, p. 162) states that “The Australian health system is a hybrid system where health care can be funded through either taxation or privately, with a regulated voluntary health insurance system being a key aspect.” Taxation is essential because the government can use it to secure health products and services for its population (Behdarvand et al., 2019).

Health Funding in Australia Compared to the United States

Despite the difference in the funding healthcare system in both countries, they tend to focus on similar governmental programs. For instance, both the United States and Australia funds health through a government program called Medicare. According to Robertson et al. (2016), every citizen in Australia can access healthcare services through the Medicare program. The author continues to state that the program offers subsidized or free treatment from medical personnel. Moreover, healthcare funding in the USA and Australia is through national or public health insurance methods; all citizens can access most health-related services.

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Contrasts in Healthcare Funding in Australia and the United States.

The United States and Australia differ on the health funding process depending on Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to Papanicolas et al. (2018), the Australian government spends 9.6 percent of its GDP on healthcare purposes while the USA spend 17.8 percent in 2016. The population ratio in the USA with insured individuals is 90 percent higher than that of Australia. In 2017, the USA government covers 85 percent of the health insurance while Australia covers 68 percent of the health insurance (Australians Institutions of health and welfare, 2020). Besides, between the years 2011 and 2012, the USA spends 8.9 percent and 8 percent on private and public healthcare. On the other hand, Australia spends about 2.9 percent and 6.2 percent respectively in the same year; indicating that the USA has been highly funding health systems compared to Australia.


Health is the most fundamental factor that every country intends to improve. However, health funding can differ and also be similar from country to country. Though the United States spends much of its GDP on healthcare systems compared to Australia, Australia has a better healthcare system. Unlike in the USA, health in Australia is considered a human right and thus deserved for all citizens. As a result, affordability and accessibility are much effective in Australia than in the USA. Lastly, health funding in Australia and the USA are similar because of using similar government programs such as Medicare.


Australians Institutions of health and welfare. (2020). Australians Health 2020: Data sets. (Australia Health series no. 17, Cat.No. AUS 231). Australian Institution of Health and Welfare.

Behdarvand, B., Karanges, E., & Bero, L. (2019). Pharmaceutical industry funding of events for healthcare professionals on non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants in Australia: an observational study. BMJ Open9(8), e030253.

Johnson, K. L., & Walston, S. L. (2020). Healthcare in the United States: Clinical, financial, and operational dimensions (1nd ed). Health Administration Press Central.

Kerr, R., & Hendrie, D. (2018). Is capital investment in Australian hospitals effectively funding patient access to efficient public hospital care? Australian Health Review42(5), 501-513.

Papanicolas, I., Woskie, L., & Jha, A. (2018). Health Care Spending in the United States and Other High-Income Countries. The Journal of the American Medical Association; Chicago, 319(10), 1024.

Robertson, J., Newby, D., & Walkom, E. (2016). Health Care Spending: Changes in the Perceptions of the Australian Public. PLoS One11(6), e0157312.

Shrank, W., DeParle, N., Gottlieb, S., Jain, S., Orszag, P., Powers, B., & Wilensky, G. (2021). Health Costs and Financing: Challenges and Strategies for A New Administration. Health Affairs40(2), 235-242.

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