Hospital workforce

The hospital workforce in Australia is large and diverse, covering many occupations. Hospital employees include medical officers (such as surgeons, anaesthetists and other specialists), nurses, diagnostic and allied health professionals (such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists), administrative and clerical staff, and domestic and other personal care staff.

Explore more information about hospital workforce via the links at the bottom of the page. 

Public hospitals

Staff numbers (full time equivalent, or FTE) include staff employed in public hospitals and services managed or delivered at the local hospital network-level or state/territory health authority-level.

In 2021–22:

  • there were 438,500 FTE staff employed in public hospitals
  • of these, 41% (or 181,000) were Nurses and 12% (or 53,900) were Salaried medical officers.

These staff numbers do not include visiting medical officers in public hospitals and most medical officers who provide services in private hospitals.

Private hospitals

The staffing mix in private hospitals is different from that in public hospitals. This is because most medical services are provided by visiting medical specialists (who are not hospital employees), and the range of services provided is different.

In 2016–17 (most recent available data):

  • there were 69,300 full FTE staff in private hospitals in Australia
  • Salaried medical professionals accounted for 2% of FTE staff
  • Nurses accounted for 52% of FTE staff in private free-standing day hospital facilities and 56% of FTE staff in other private hospitals.

Where do I find more information?

Data about public hospital staff and salaries can be found in the Hospital resources 2021–22 data tables (417kB XLSX).

The most recent data available for private hospitals and private free-standing day hospital facilities is for 2016–17, based on the Private Health Establishments Collection (PHEC) conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The PHEC data were discontinued after the 2016–17 reference period and therefore data for 2017–18 onwards are not available.

More data on Hospital workforce: