Admitted patients

Admitted patients are patients who undergo a public or private hospital’s formal admission process to receive treatment and/or care. The types of care provided include surgical care, medical care, intensive care, newborn care, rehabilitation care, palliative care, and mental health care.

Explore more details on the care provided to admitted patients via the links at the bottom of the page.

Impact of COVID-19 on hospital activity in 2019–20 and 2020–21

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a profound impact on hospital activity generally. The range of social, economic, business and travel restrictions, including restrictions on some hospital services, and associated measures in other healthcare services to support social distancing in Australia resulted in an overall decrease in hospital activity in 2019–20. Many of these restrictions were eased in 2020, leading to an increase in overall  hospitalisations in 2020–21.

In the 5 years between 2014–15 and 2018–19, hospitalisations had increased 3.3%, on average, per year—3.7% per year in public hospitals and 2.6% per year in private hospitals.

Following the 2.8% decrease in hospitalisations from 2018–19 to 2019–20 due to restrictions on some types of hospital services, hospitalisations increased 6.3% in 2020–21 to 11.8 million, an increase of 3.6% in public hospitals and 10.5% in private hospitals. This is most likely due to the lifting of restrictions that were implemented to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus more generally as well as easing of restrictions on hospital activity.

In addition, many jurisdictions implemented programs to fast-track elective surgeries and provided increased funding for surgeries which were delayed because of the restrictions put in place on elective surgery in 2019–20 as part of the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Admitted patients

All data in these visualisations are available for download in the Data & downloads section of the MyHospitals website.

Admitted patient care bookmark 1

There were 11.1 million hospitalisations in 2019–20. This was a 2.8% decrease since 2018–19 due to the impact of COVID-19 on hospital admissions.

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Admitted patient care bookmark 2

Males 0-14 and 55+ years were more likely to be hospitalised than females of similar age in 2019–20.

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Admitted patient care bookmark 3

There were 6.9 million same-day hospitalisations in public and private hospitals in 2019–20. There was a 4.1% decrease for private hospitals since 2018–19.

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Hospitalisations with a COVID-19 diagnosis

Australia’s hospital system has played a significant role in managing and treating people with the coronavirus virus (COVID-19). Between January 2020 and June in 2021, there were over 7,300 hospitalisations involving a COVID-19 diagnosis (2,600 in 2019–20 and 4,700 in 2020–21).

Around 42% of hospitalisations with a diagnosis of COVID-19 had one or more diagnosed comorbid chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or Type 2 Diabetes. This is an increase from 2019–20 where 25% of hospitalisations had one or more diagnosed comorbid chronic conditions.

In 2019–20:

  • 8.6% of hospitalisations involved a stay in Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
  • 5.3% of hospitalisations involved Continuous ventilatory support (CVS)
  • 4.0% of hospitalisations had a separation mode indicating the patient died in hospital.

In 2020–21:

  • 7.0% of hospitalisations involved a stay in ICU
  • 3.8% of hospitalisations involved CVS
  • 10.3 % of hospitalisations had a separation mode indicating the patient died in hospital.

Emergency department activity data are available in the Emergency department care activity area of the MyHospitals site.

Elective surgery activity are available in the Elective surgery activity area of the MyHospitals site.

Data about Australia's healthcare system are available in the Australia's health performance area of the AIHW website.