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Hospitals are an important part of Australia's health landscape, providing services to many Australians every year.

For detailed information see Australian hospital statistics.

For highlights see Australia's hospitals at a glance.


Australia’s hospitals 2012–13

In 2012–13, there were 1,338 hospitals in Australia. The 746 public hospitals accounted for about 68% of hospital beds and provided more than 7.9 million emergency services and more than 46 million outpatient services for non-admitted patients.

This dashboard shows information on the 9.4 million hospitalisations in public and private hospitals in 2012–13.

Infographic showing 3 public admissions v 2 private PNG
  • 3 in 5 were admitted to public hospitals,
    2 in 5 were admitted to private hospitals.
Infographic showing 1 in 4 admissions involved surgery PNG
  • 1 in 4 involved surgery.
3 in 5 were same-day admissions PNG
  • Almost 3 in 5 were same-day admissions.
1 in 15 admissions were for injury PNG
  • 1 in 15 admissions was for an injury.
50% of cancer patients seen in 17 days PNG
  • In 2012–13, 50% of patients with cancer diagnoses were admitted for elective surgery in public hospitals within 17 days. This was 24 days less than for patients with other diagnoses.

Healthcare-associated infection in public hospitals

Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) is a serious bloodstream infection that may be associated with hospital care. In 2012–13, 1,724 cases were reported, which was less than 1 case of SAB for every 10,000 days of patient care in Australia’s public hospitals.

sab cases 2012-13 PNG
  • SAB rates ranged from 0.7 per 10,000 patient days in the NT to 1.3 per 10,000 in the ACT.

Emergency department care

Australia’s public hospital emergency departments provide care for patients who may have an urgent need for medical or surgical care.

Patients who present to the emergency department are ‘triaged’; on presentation according to the urgency of their need for care.

This dashboard shows information on the more than 6.7 million presentations to public hospital emergency departments in 2012–13.

Infographic showing 50% of all patients received treatment received treatment by a medical officer or nurse within 19 minutes of arrival.
  • 50% of all patients received treatment by a medical officer or nurse within 19 minutes of arrival. 90% received treatment within 1 hour and 41 minutes. 10% waited longer than these times.
Infographic showing 73% of emergency department presentations were seen on time...
  • 73% of emergency department presentations were seen on time, ranging from 51% in the Australian Capital Territory to 78% in New South Wales.
Infographic showing 67% of emergency department visits were completed within 4 hours...
  • 67% of emergency department visits were completed within 4 hours, ranging from 57% in the Australian Capital Territory to 77% in Western Australia.

Elective surgery

Elective surgery is surgery that is not required on an emergency basis and can be planned in advance. About two-thirds of elective surgery in Australia is provided in private hospitals and is funded through private health insurance.

Patients who have elective surgery in public hospitals are usually placed on a waiting list and wait for varying periods of time, influenced by the urgency of their need for surgery.

This dashboard shows information on elective surgery in public hospitals in 2012–13.

Infographic showing 1 in 8 admissions are for elective surgery PNG
  • 1 in 8 admissions to public hospitals were for elective surgery (673,000 admissions).
Infographic showing Elective surgery admissions have risen since 2008-09 PNG
  • There were 29.4 elective surgery admissions per 1,000 population. This is unchanged from 2011–12, but an increase from 28.0 per 1,000 in 2008–09.
Infographic showing 50% all patients seen in 36 days PNG
  • 50% of all patients were admitted for elective surgery within 36 days of being placed on the waiting list. 90% of all patients were admitted within 265 days. 10% waited longer than these times.
Infographic showing 90% elective patients seen in 219 days PNG
  • In 2008–09, 90% of patients were seen within 219 days. This has increased to 265 days in 2012–13.
Infographic showing States comparisons of average waiting times for elective surgery PNG
  • In Queensland, 50% of patients were admitted for surgery within 27­ days. The wait was longest in the ACT (51 days).