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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.

Healthcare-associated infection in public hospitals 2013–14

Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) is a serious bloodstream infection that may be associated with hospital care. In 2013–14, 1,621 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 in public hospitals 2013-14 PNG
  • In 2013–14, SAB rates ranged from 0.56 cases per 10,000 days in South Australia to 1.05 cases per 10,000 in the Northern Territory.
Line chart shows SAB cases in public hospitals decreased from 1.1 cases per 10,000 patient days in 2010-11 to under 0.9 cases in 2013-14.
  • Between 2010–11 and 2013–14, the national SAB rate decreased from 1.10 cases to 0.87 cases per 10,000 days of patient care.

Emergency department care 2013–14

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 7.2 million presentations to public hospital emergency departments in 2013–14.

Emergency department 2013-14: treatment times PNG
  • 50% of all patients received treatment by a medical officer or nurse within 19 minutes of arrival. 90% received treatment within 1 hour and 33 minutes. 10% waited longer than these times.
Emergency department 2013-14: proportion seen on time PNG
  • 75% of emergency department presentations were seen on time, ranging from 57% in the Northern Territory to 81% in New South Wales.
Emergency department 2013-14: seen-within-4hrs PNG
  • 73% of emergency department visits were completed within 4 hours, ranging from 62% in both the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory to 79% in Western Australia.
Emergency department 2013-14: 3 in 10 admitted after care PNG
  • 3 in 10 patients were admitted to hospital after their emergency department care.

Elective surgery 2013–14

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 2013–14.

Infographic showing 1 in 8 admissions are for elective surgery PNG
  • 1 in 8 admissions to public hospitals were for elective surgery (699,000 admissions).
Elective surgery 2013-14 graphic - elective surgery admissions per 1000 population
  • There were 30.0 elective surgery admissions per 1,000 population. This is an increase from 28.0 per 1,000 in 2009–10.
Elective surgery 2013-14 graphic - patients waited 262 days
  • 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 262 days. 10% waited longer than these times.
Elective surgery 2013-14 graphic - wait time for states and territories
  • In Queensland, 50% of patients were admitted for surgery within 28­ days. The wait was longest in NSW (49 days).
Elective surgery 2013-14 graphic - wait over 365 days
  • In 2013–14, 2.4% of patients waited over 365 days for their surgery. This was down from 3.4% in 2009–10.

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.
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.