There were 1,338 hospitals in Australia in 2012-13. The 746 public hospitals accounted for about 68% of hospital beds (58,300) and the 592 private hospitals accounted for about 32% of beds (28,000, based on 2011-12 data).
Expenditure and staffing
Public hospitals spent over $42 billion in 2012-13. Salary expenditure (for about 274,700 employees) accounted for about 62% of the recurrent expenditure.
Adjusted for inflation, public hospital expenditure increased by an average of 5% each year between 2008-09 and 2012-13. Over the same period, revenue increased by an average of 15% per year (adjusted for inflation).
Between 2008-09 and 2012-13, the number of salaried medical officers employed in Australia's public hospitals increased by about 4.8% on average every year, compared with an increase of 2.7% for nurses and for staff overall.
Admitted patient care
In 2012-13, there were almost 9.4 million separations from hospitals for admitted patients -5.5 million in public hospitals and 3.8 million in private hospitals.
Between 2008-09 and 2012-13, the number of separations increased by 3.1% on average each year for public hospitals and by 4.1% for private hospitals. However, if a change in emergency department admission policy in Victoria had not occurred, it is estimated that public hospital separations would have risen by an average of 3.8% each year. Notably, between 2008-09 and 2012-13:
- Western Australia had the greatest average annual increase in separations (6.3%)
- same-day separations increased at a higher rate than overnight separations (3.6% and 2.7%, respectively)
- subacute and non-acute separations increased by an average of 8.2% for public hospitals, and at a higher rate in private hospitals (13.7%)
- non-emergency medical care increased by an average of 6.4% for private hospitals, and 4.2% for public hospitals.
In 2012-13, there were almost 27.7 million patient days reported for admitted patients- 18.8 million in public hospitals and 8.9 million in private hospitals.
Between 2008–09 and 2012–13, patient days in public hospitals increased by about 1.8% each year compared with 3.0% for private hospitals.
In 2012–13, there were 2.5 million admissions that involved surgery. Of these, about 300,000 were emergency admissions and 2.0 million were elective admissions. The majority of elective admissions that involved surgery occurred in private hospitals (67%).
Indigenous Australians had about twice the rate of emergency admissions involving surgery compared with other Australians (27 per 1,000 persons and 13 per 1,000, respectively). In contrast, for elective admissions involving surgery, Indigenous Australians had a rate that was about two-thirds the rate for other Australians (58 per 1,000 persons and 88 per 1,000, respectively).