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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 reports.

For highlights see Australia's hospitals 2014–15 at a glance.


Australia's hospitals 2014–15 at a glance

Australia’s hospitals 2014–15 at a glance presents key summary statistics from each of the AIHWs Australian hospital statistics publications.

The report is also available as Australia’s hospitals 2014–15 at a glance: online


Hospital resources 2014–15

In 2014–15, there were 698 public hospitals and 624 private hospitals.

Bar chart compares $57 billion public hospital expenditure to $12 billion private hospital expenditure.
  • Public hospitals spent about $57 billion. Private hospitals spent more than $12 billion.
Pie chart shows breakdown of the hospital workforce: 42% clerical; 18% admin; 14% diagnostic/allied health; 13% salaried medical officers; 13% other.
  • About 330,000 FTE staff were employed in providing public hospital services. Nurses accounted for 42% of the labour force.

Non-admitted patient care 2014–15

In 2014–15, about 35 million outpatient services were provided by Australia’s public hospitals.

Bar chart shows millions of service events for non-admitted care: 4.5 procedural clinics; 10.5 consultation clinics; 3.6 stand-alone diagnostic clinics; 16.1 allied health or clinical nurse.
  • About 16 million services were in allied health/nurse specialist clinics.
  • About 10 million services were in medical consultation clinics.

Admitted patient care 2014–15

In 2014–15, there were about 10.2 million hospitalisations in public and private hospitals.

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.
Indigenous Australians hospitalised 2.3 x the rate of other Australians PNG
  • Indigenous Australians were hospitalised at more than twice the rate for other Australians
1 in 4 admissions involved surgery PNG
  • 1 in 4 hospitalisations involved surgery
1 in 4 same-day admissions were for dialysis PNG
  • Almost 1 in 4 same-day admissions were for dialysis

Healthcare-associated infection in public hospitals 2014–15

Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) is a serious bloodstream infection that may be associated with hospital care. In 2014–15, 1,490 cases were reported, which was less than 1 case of SAB for every 10,000 days of patient care in Australia’s public hospitals.

Bar chart compares SAB rates for states & territories, ranging from .66 cases per 10,000 patient days in NT to .84 in ACT. The national rate is .77, under the benchmark of 2.0.
  • In 2014–15, SAB rates ranged from 0.66 cases per 10,000 days in the Northern Territory to 0.84 cases per 10,000 in the Australian Capital Territory.
Line graph shows the drop in the Australian national SAB rate from 1.10 in 2010-11 to 0.77 in 2014-15.
  • Between 2010–11 and 2014–15, the national SAB rate decreased from 1.10 cases to 0.77 cases per 10,000 days of patient care.

Emergency department care 2014–15

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

Icon shows 4 in 10 people wait less than 18 minutes in EDs and only 1 in 10 wait longer than 1 hour 33 minutes.
  • 50% of all patients received treatment by a medical officer or nurse within 18 minutes of arrival. 90% received treatment within 1 hour and 33 minutes. 10% waited longer than these times.
Bar chart shows proportion of people presenting to EDs being seen on time, from 81% in NSW to 59% in NT. The national average is 74%.
  • Patients who present to the emergency department are ‘triaged’ on presentation according to the urgency of their need for care. 74% of emergency department presentations were seen on time, ranging from 59% in the Australian Capital Territory to 81% in New South Wales.
Bar chart shows proportion of presentations to EDs being complete within 4 hours, from 79% in NSW to 62% in NT. The national average is 73%.
  • 73% of emergency department visits were completed within 4 hours, ranging from 62% in both the Northern Territory to to 79% in Western Australia.

Elective surgery 2014–15

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 (for which waiting times are not available).

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 2014–15.

Icon shows 4 in 10 people wait less than 35 days for elective surgery and only 1 in 10 wait longer than 262 days.
  • 50% of all patients were admitted for elective surgery within 35 days of being placed on the waiting list. 90% of all patients were admitted within 253 days. 10% waited longer than these times.
Bar chart shows median waiting times for elective surgery in States and Territories, ranging from from 27 days in QLD to 55 days in Tas. The national average is 35 days.
  • In Queensland, 50% of patients were admitted for surgery within 27­ days. The wait was longest in Tasmania (55 days).
Bar chart compares 17 days to 40 days.
  • In 2014–15, 50% of patients with cancer diagnoses were admitted for elective surgery in public hospitals within 17 days. This was 23 days less than for patients with other diagnoses.