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4839.0.55.001 - Health Services: Patient Experiences in Australia, 2009  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/10/2011   
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Contents >> Use of health services >> Hospital admissions and emergency visits

HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS AND EMERGENCY VISITS

Approximately 13% of Australians aged 15 years and over (2.3 million people) reported being admitted to hospital in the previous 12 months. The same proportion of people had visited a hospital emergency department.

The survey showed that patterns of hospital admission were different for men and women. In fact, until the age of 55, women were around twice as likely to have been admitted to hospital as men (see Figure 1.3). Higher rates of hospitalisation for women are due in part to obstetric treatments (AIHW, 2010).

1.3 Admitted to hospital in last 12 months (a), by Age and Sex

(See Table 1.2 for more detail)

On the other hand, as shown in Figure 1.4, patterns of visiting an emergency department were quite similar for men and women except for the 45-54 year old age group.

1.4 Visited hospital emergency department in last 12 months (a), by Age and Sex

(Differences between men and women aged 75 years and over are not statistically significant (see Technical Note).
See Table 1.2 for more detail)

WA and Tasmania (16%) had the highest rates of people being admitted to hospital and NT had the lowest (10%) (keeping in mind that the survey did not go to very remote communities, which accounts for approximately 24% of the population of the NT). This was similar for rates of emergency visits, with people in WA (16%) and SA (14%) reporting the most visits to an emergency department in the previous 12 months and people in the NT reporting the least (12%).

Survey results show that relative disadvantage had some effect on rates of hospital admissions and emergency visits. People in areas of most disadvantage reported the most hospital admissions (15%) and they had the highest rate of visiting an emergency department (17% compared with the national average of 13%) (see Table 1.1 for more detail). They were also far more likely to consider their health only fair or poor than people from areas of least disadvantage. These rates may be due in part to age1 .

Across the board, people's estimation of their own health status was reflected in rates of both hospital admissions and emergency visits. People who rated their health as fair or poor were more than twice as likely to have been admitted to hospital or to visit an emergency department (27% and 26% respectively) as people who rated their health as excellent, very good or good (both 11%).

As shown in Figure 1.5, people in outer regional and remote areas of Australia had the highest rates of being admitted to hospital (15%) and visiting an emergency department (15%).

1.5 Hospital admissions and emergency visits in last 12 months (a), by Remoteness

(See Table 1.1 for more detail)


References

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2010. Australia's Health 2010. Australia's Health series no. 12. Cat. no. AUS 122. Canberra: AIHW. (page 315).

1. There are relationships between age and health service usage, and between age and socio-economic status. The SEIFA indices summarise different aspects of the socio-economic conditions of people living in an area. The Index of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage is derived from Census variables related to disadvantage, such as low income and dwellings without motor vehicles. Patient Experience survey results show that people aged 65 years and over are slightly more likely to live in areas of more disadvantage, and are more likely to rate their health as fair or poor. <back




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