Publication of the 2017-18 Final Budget Outcome has confirmed federal health spending finished the year significantly lower than expected in the May Budget.
According to the FBO, federal health spending finished the year at $76.039 billion, around $1.6 billion less than the $77.603 billion forecast in the 2018-19 Budget delivered in May.
The outcome represented growth in health spending of around 2 per cent compared to the previous year.
Spending on Medicare rose by around $1 billion while federal contributions to the states and territories for public hospitals rose by $1.3 billion.
Overall, the government recorded a significant improvement in its budget bottom line, driven by a higher than expected $37 billion increase in its receipts - the money it takes in taxes and other revenue - in 2017-18.
This single year $37 billion increase is equivalent to half of total federal government spending on health.
Spending the rapidly growing National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) program finished the year $2.5 billion lower than forecast, reflecting lower-than-expected numbers of participants and lower utilisation of participants’ individual support packages.