AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Conferences & events Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Public Interest Disclosure Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subjectAdoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health services Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR - metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data governance framework Data linking Data standards Privacy of data
By subject Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse Chronic disease indicators Deaths
Disability Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Hospitals Height and weight data sources Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM)
Medical indemnity Mental health National indicator catalogue National core maternity indicators (NCMI) Risk factors statistics Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee CKDMAC AODTS NMDS WG CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISSC NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NMHPSC NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Indigenous temporary employment register Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Conferences & events Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Download Surgery in Australian hospitals 2010–11 [1.6MB PDF]
In 2010–11, over a quarter of the 8.9 million hospitalisations (separations) in Australia’s public and private hospitals included a visit to an operating room for surgery. This bulletin provides an overview of these 2.4 million hospitalisations involving surgery.
This information was sourced from the AIHW’s National Hospital Morbidity Database and National Elective Surgery Waiting Times Data Collection.
In 2010–11, over one-quarter of all hospitalisations involved surgery. There were 1.0 million episodes in public hospitals and 1.4 million in private hospitals.
Between 2006–07 and 2010–11, hospitalisations involving surgery increased by an average of 2.4% for public hospitals and 4.1% for private hospitals each year. Between 2009–10 and 2010–11, the increase was higher for public hospitals than for private hospitals (2.7% and 2.1%, respectively).
Admissions can be categorised as Emergency (required within 24 hours), or Elective (required at some stage beyond 24 hours). Some admissions (for example, for obstetric care and other planned care) are not assigned an urgency status.
Between 2006–07 and 2010–11, emergency admissions consistently accounted for about 12% of hospitalisations involving surgery and the majority of these occurred in public hospitals (Figure 1).
Over this period, about 82%–83% of hospitalisations involving surgery were elective admissions (in 2010–11, about 1.9 million), with about two-thirds of these occurring in private hospitals.
About 4% of surgical admissions were childbirth-related and 1% were for other planned care.
Men and boys accounted for about 55% of emergency admissions involving surgery.
In contrast, about 56% of elective admissions involving surgery were for women and girls.
Compared with other Australians, Indigenous Australians had:
Compared with the national rates, people living in Very remote areas had:
For elective admissions involving surgery, the rate of hospitalisation:
For emergency admissions, the most common reasons (principal diagnoses) for hospitalisation involving surgery were acute appendicitis, hip fracture and acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) (Figure 3).
For elective admissions, the most common reasons were cataracts, skin cancer, knee disorders and procreative management (including IVF treatment) (Figure 4).
In 2010–11, over 70% of hospitalisations involving surgery reported a surgical procedure in one of five groups:
For patients having surgery on the respiratory system, the cardiovascular system and the digestive system, a relatively high proportion were emergency admissions (47%, 26% and 23%, respectively).
For emergency admissions, the most common surgical procedures were appendicectomy and coronary angioplasty (Figure 5).
For elective admissions, the most common surgical procedures were cataract extraction and removal of skin lesions (Figure 6).
Just over 50% of hospitalisations involving surgery were same-day admissions, accounting for:
For overnight hospitalisations involving surgery, the average length of stay was:
Waiting times information was available for around 620,000 patients admitted from public hospital elective surgery waiting lists in 2010–11.
The median waiting time for elective surgery represents the number of days within which 50% of patients were admitted from the elective surgery waiting list.
In 2010–11, 50% of patients admitted from public hospital elective surgery waiting lists waited 36 days or less and 90% had been admitted within 252 days.
Ophthalmology was the surgical specialty with the longest median waiting time (70 days) and cardiothoracic surgery had the shortest (16 days).
Overall, the median waiting time for patients with cancer-related principal diagnoses (19 days) was 17 days shorter than the median waiting time for all patients (36 days). For orthopaedic surgery, 50% of patients with cancer waited 7 days or less, compared with 64 days (median) overall.
Waiting times varied according to the type of cancer. For example: