Hospitals used more but stays shorter

Australian Hospital Statistics 1995-96, to be released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on Monday, shows that between 1994-95 and 1995-96 hospital admissions across Australia increased by about 5 percent, to 5.2 million. Of these, 70% were to public hospitals and 30% to private hospitals. The report also shows a 2.4% overall increase in the total number of days hospital beds were occupied.

The average length of stay for public acute and private hospitals decreased slightly, from 4.5 to 4.3 days, while the percentage of same day patient admissions continued to rise.

Ms Jenny Hargreaves from the AIHW's Health Division said that in 1995-96 over 40% of the 5.2 million admissions to public acute and psychiatric and private hospitals were for same day patients. "For private hospitals the percentage of same day admissions was almost 50%", she said.

Other findings of Australian Hospital Statistics 1995-96 include:

  • Salaries and wages comprised over 60% of total public hospital operating costs.
  • The main categories of employees in public hospitals were: over 40% nurses; 13% diagnostic and health professionals; 14% administrative and clerical staff; 19% domestic and other staff; and just over 7% salaried medical officers.
  • Between 1994-95 and 1995-96 the total number of public hospitals in Australia increased from 745 to 756 and the average number of available beds for admitted patients increased marginally, from 59, 273 to 59,720.
  • Australian Hospital Statistics 1995-96 includes national patient-level data according to the reported principal diagnosis and principal procedure, as well as Australian National Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) classification.
  • The report includes a diskette with extended tables of separation, patient-day and length of stay statistics for the 200 most frequently reported diagnoses and principal procedures.

30 June 1997


Further information: Jenny Hargreaves, ph. 02 6244 1121.
For general media enquiries: Lyn Elliott, ph. 02 6244 1034.
For media copies of the report (170pp.): Mark McCarthy, ph. 02 6244 1032.
Availability: Australian Hospital Statistics 1995-96