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Public and private hospital combined admissions have risen by
16% since 2004-05 to over 8 million admissions in 2008-09, while
inroads are being made into elective surgery queues, according to
the latest annual report on hospitals released today by the
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Australian hospital statistics 2008-09,
shows that admissions to public hospital emergency departments
increased at a faster rate than any other hospital service.
'Public hospitals provide the most emergency department
services, with about 7.2 million visits in 2008-09, and an increase
of 4.6% on average each year since 2004-05,' said George Bodilsen
of the AIHW's Hospitals Unit.
'Of these emergency department patients, about 70% were seen
within the recommended time for their triage category and 100% of
the most urgent cases were seen on time. This was roughly the same
as in previous years.'
Elective surgery admissions are also on the rise. Between
2004-05 and 2008-09, total elective surgery admissions increased
from 1.6 million to 1.8 million.
'Public elective surgery increased by 3.1% over 2007-08, faster
than the 1.7% average rate of increase between 2004-05 and
2008-09,' Mr Bodilsen said.
'For elective surgery, the median waiting time in public
hospitals was 34 days, the same as in 2007-08, but up from 29 days
'However, the proportion of people waiting over a year for
elective surgery has decreased to just under 3%, after being almost
5% in 2004-05. Also, in 2008-09, there were almost 30,000 more
admissions for elective surgery from public hospital waiting lists
than in 2007-08.
'This combination of results-more public elective surgery being
done, average waiting times levelling out, fewer long waits, and
increased admissions for elective surgery from waiting lists
suggest improving access to public elective surgery.'
The average length of stay in hospital was 3.2 days-2.4 days in
private hospitals and 3.5 days in public acute hospitals.
'These averages have been decreasing over time, reflecting the
fact that the proportion of admissions that are day-only has been
increasing,' Mr Bodilsen said.
Australian hospital statistics 2008-09 shows that 8.5% of all
admissions are potentially preventable (if timely and effective
non-hospital care had been provided).
Around $31.3 billion was spent in public hospitals in 2008-09.
After adjusting for inflation, public hospital spending rose by
5.9% a year between 2004-05 and 2008-09.
Thursday 17 June 2010
Further information: Mr George Bodilsen, AIHW,
tel. (02) 6244 1157, mob. 0409 756 800
For media copies of the report: Publications
Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1230.
Australian hospital statistics 2008-09