Australians spent $9.4 billion on medicines and pharmacy products not listed on the PBS in 2017-18.Credit:LOUIE DOUVIS The Coalition government spent $77.1 billion on health in 2017-18, up 3.4 per cent on the previous year, while it collected $308.7 billion in taxes – an increase of 12.6 per cent. Total out-of-pocket health costs increased by 3 per cent – $920 million – over the financial year to hit $30.6 billion, marking a 55 per cent increase compared with a decade earlier. Grattan Institute health economist Stephen Duckett said the growth in out-of-pocket costs was “a serious concern, especially at a time when household budgets are under pressure because of flat wage growth”. “It may mean people will find it harder to afford to see a doctor, with long term health consequences,” he said. Dr Duckett said while the number of GP services to be bulk billed had risen over […]