Information in this report provides a basis for identifying and measuring trends and changes in the patterns of total health and disability expenditures in New Zealand. The estimates include both public and private health expenditures. This series differs from other expenditure estimates because it relates to all sources of funding channelled through the public and private sectors. The data are useful in evaluating policies and provides a basis for comparing New Zealand’s expenditure with other nations.
In 2003/04 New Zealand adopted the System of Health Accounts (SHA) promulgated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for defining and aggregating total current health and health-related expenditures. The change to SHA provided the Ministry with the opportunity to review all data collection sources, processes and assumptions involved in compiling health expenditure tables. As a result, several refinements have enhanced the accuracy of the expenditure estimates in this edition of Health Expenditure Trends.
The most significant impact on the expenditure estimates consists of broadening the definition of the ‘health sector’ to include additional disability support and long-term care services. As this report covers the first year of using SHA-based reporting future refinements can be expected.