Non-admitted patient care provided in public hospitals includes care provided in outpatient clinics at which patients consult specialist medical practitioners, or have diagnostic or other procedures, or are provided with allied health or specialist nursing care. This report summarises this type of hospital care for 2015–16.

Non-admitted patient care can also include care provided in emergency departments; the dispensing of medicines; and district nursing and community health services provided by hospitals. Information about these activities is not included in this report.

For the Australian Capital Territory, non-admitted patient care data for 2015–16 were not available at the time of publication.

How much non-admitted patient activity was reported?

In 2015–16, about 33.4 million non-admitted patient care service events were reported for 604 public hospitals (excluding the Australian Capital Territory) and 19 other services that provided non-admitted patient care for public patients (including local hospital networks and some private hospitals in Western Australia).

What types of services were provided?

In 2015–16:

  • 46% of service events were in allied health and/or clinical nurse specialist clinics—Midwifery and maternity and Primary health care were the most commonly reported clinics (2.1 million and 1.8 million service events, respectively)
  • 29% were in medical consultation clinics—Orthopaedics and Medical oncology (consultation) were the most commonly reported clinics (1.0 million and 632,000 service events, respectively)
  • 16% were for diagnostic services—Pathology (microbiology, haematology, biochemistry) and General imaging were the most commonly reported services (2.8 million and 1.8 million, respectively)
  • 8% were in procedural clinics—Dental and Radiation oncology (treatment) were the most commonly reported clinics (920,000 and 756,000 service events, respectively).

Who used these services?

Information on the characteristics of patients who used non-admitted patient services was available for about 48% of in-scope service events. In 2015–16:

  • 56% of service events were for females (the age range that includes the most services for Obstetrics and Midwifery and Maternity)
  • 32% of service events were for people aged 65 and over
  • 5% of service events were for Indigenous Australians.

How were services funded?

In 2015–16, most non-admitted patient care (about 85%) in public hospitals was funded by the jurisdiction’s health service budget. About 15% were funded by the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and smaller numbers were funded through compensation schemes and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.