Have you ever wondered how Australia’s health expenditure compares to the rest of the world? The answer is pretty well – Despite the gaps we see in health provision, and especially mental health provision, we have a strong health budget provision (almost US$6000/person). What we do need to think about is how we allocate that expenditure…. we need to make sure that the rural component is not too thin, and that we use what we have to better effect. I think rural nurses need to step up to the mark and step out in progressive specialist generalist care…. some research (including mine!) is showing that the listening, caring and referral we nurses provide is the most important aspect of early intervention they receive…and it keeps them engaged in recovery. Earlier helping often means less morbidity and speedier recovery – budget win:win! And health win:win….. Nurses are a critical factor in health budget planning. We need to perhaps be a bit more vocal to ensure that we advocate for health and well being for all….. Here are the global stats about health expenditure.