In 2014 a total of 1.97 billion euros was spent directly on the health of the under 15s, representing 6.2% of the resources spent on all age groups. However, given that the under-15s make up 14.3% of the general population (yearly average), at just 1,613.50 euros the annual expenditure per capita in this group was well below the amount spent on all inhabitants of Austria (3,744.82 euros per head).
Data on health spending in Austria is collected according to the OECD’s „System of Health Accounts 2011“ (SHA). All figures listed here take the following health services and goods (HC) into consideration:
- HC.1: Curative healthcare services
- HC.2: Rehabilitative healthcare services
- HC.3 Long-term care
- HC.4 Ancillary healthcare services
- HC.5 Medical goods
Expenditure on Preventive care (HC.6) and Governance, and health system and financing administration (HC.7) is not included here. A more detailed description of the categories HC.1-HC.5 can be found for example in section 188.8.131.52 of the documentation of Statistics Austria on data acquisition for health spending according to SHA.
At 84.4% in 2014, „personal healthcare“ accounted for the greatest share of this expenditure. This comprises in-patient and out-patient healthcare, day care and home care. 13.7% was spent on „medical goods“ – this not only includes pharmaceuticals and other medical non-durable and durable goods, but also therapeutic appliances. The remaining 1.9% is classified under „additional services“.
Structure and development
Between 2011 and 2014 health expenditure (HC.1-HC.5 as per SHA) for children under 15 years rose from 1.72 billion euros to 1.97 billion. This represents an increase of 15.0% and average annual growth of 4.8%. As the population under the age of 15 contracted by an average of 0.2% per year over these three years, the increase per capita was even slightly higher (+15.7% and +5.0% per year). Expenditure per capita totalled 1,394.45 euros in 2011 and 1,613.50 euros in 2014.
To compare expenditure in real terms, current prices must be used for evaluation. Corrected by average inflation of approx. 2%, this results in real growth in health expenditure of 8.9% per capita for children aged 0 to 14 years (average +2.9% per year).
When broken down into age groups (under 1 year, 1 to 4 years and 5 to 14 years), the greatest spend is on the youngest children. In 2014 health costs per capita amounted to 3,751.27 euros for babies and infants under 1 year of age. Compared with 2011, this resulted in a nominal fall of 4.4% or, at current prices, 10.0% (average -3.5% per year). The lowest expenditure per capita in 2014 was on 1 to 4-year-olds. Although the costs of 1,334.86 euros/child in this group were up 5.7% on 2011, growth here still fell short of the overall inflation rate over the three years – in real terms, an insignificant fall of 0.5% (average -0.17% per year). The overall increase in per capita expenditure (also adjusted for inflation) nonetheless seen for all children between 0 and 14 years from 2011 to 2014 can be attributed to the group of 5 to 14-year-olds: expenditure of 1,515.01 euros per capita (up +25.5% on 2011). This represented in real terms an overall rise of 18.1% or an average increase of 5.71% per year since 2011.
Of the 1,664.3 million euros which fell under „personal healthcare“ for the under 15s, almost one third (32.3%) was spent on in-patient care and just under two thirds (63.5%) went on healthcare for out-patients. Home care (3.2%) and day care (1.0%) accounted for the remainder.
The 269.9 million euros for the provision of „medical goods“ to children from 0 to 14 years was broken down as follows: almost three quarters (72.0%) on pharmaceuticals and other medical durable and non-durable goods, and a good quarter (28.0%) for therapeutic appliances and other medical goods.
„Additional services“ are not shown in further detail (37.2 million euros in 2014 for all under 15s).