Hospital staff

This information includes detail on the numbers of full-time-equivalet (FTE) staff:

  • for public hospital services and their average salaries, by state and territory, over time and for 2017–18
  • for private hospitals for 2016–17 (most recent available data).

Public hospitals

Between 2016–17 and 2017–18:

  • there was a 1.1% increase in the number of FTE staff overall
  • salaried medical officers increased by 2.3%
  • the number of nurses increased by 2.1%.

In 2017–18:

  • 157,000 Nurses accounted for 42% of staff
  • 46,000 FTE Salaried medical officers accounted for 12% of staff.

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.

Between 2012–13 and 2016–17, the number of FTE staff in private hospitals rose by 3.5% on average each year.

In 2016–17:

  • 93% of private hospital staff (64,500 FTEs) worked in private hospitals not specialising in same-day care
  • 1,400 FTEs for Salaried medical professionals were reported by private hospitals, accounting for 2% of FTE staff in both private free-standing day hospital facilities and private hospitals not specialising in same-day care
  • 38,300 FTE Nurses were reported by private hospitals, accounting for 52% of FTE staff in private free-standing day hospital facilities and 56% of FTE staff in other private hospitals.

Average salaries in public hospitals

The average salary is calculated as total expenditure reported as salary for each category of staff, divided by the number of FTE staff in that category.

Between 2013–14 and 2017–18:

  • the average salary for staff employed in providing public hospital services increased by 2.9% on average each year
  • public hospital average salaries for Nurses and Salaried medical officers increased by 2.7% and 3.0% on average each year, respectively.

Changes in average salary for staff providing public hospital services between 2013–14 and 2017–18 are affected by changes in the provision of staffing information and information about recurrent expenditure on salary and wages among jurisdictions. Therefore, these data should be interpreted with caution. See Appendix A for more information.

Where to go for more information

More information on:

  • staffing by public hospital peer groups is available in Tables 3.1, 3.2, S3.1
  • salaries is available in Tables 3.3 and 3.4.

Is available to download in the Data section of this report.

More information on the health workforce is available in the Workforce topic area of the AIHW website.

More information on private hospitals is available in the ABS’s report Private hospitals Australia 2016–17

Information on data limitations and methods is available in Appendix A and Appendix B.


ABS 2018. Private hospitals Australia 2016–17. ABS cat. no. 4390.0. Canberra: ABS. Available to view on the ABS website.