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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 >> Hospital and Emergency >> Public and private patients

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PATIENTS

In the 12 months before the survey, over a million people who were admitted to hospital had been treated as private patients on their most recent admission to hospital.

Queensland had the lowest rate of people being treated as private patients at just under 40%, while the ACT had the highest rate at around 54%. For most of the other states, the rate was around 50% (see Figure 4.2).

4.2 Treated as public or private patient on most recent admission to hospital (a), by State/Territory

(See Table 4.3 for more detail)

Almost half of the people living in major cities and inner regional Australia had been treated as private patients on their most recent admission to hospital, compared with around a third of people living in outer regional or remote areas of Australia.

Figure 4.3 below shows that the rate of people who had been treated as private patients on their most recent hospital admission was lowest for people living in the areas of most disadvantage. These people were in fact more than three times as likely to have been treated as public patients.

The rate of being treated as a private patient steadily increased for people living in less disadvantaged areas, with people living in the least disadvantaged areas more than twice as likely to have been treated as private rather than public patients.

4.3 Treated as public or private patient on most recent admission to hospital (a), by Index of disadvantage (b)

(See Table 4.1 for more detail)

Younger people (aged between 15 to 34 years) were less likely to have been treated as private patients on their most recent admission to hospital than people aged 35 years and over.

Survey results showed a relationship with employment status and self-perception of health on whether or not people had been treated as private patients. Employed people were around one and a half times more likely than people who were unemployed or not in the labour force to have been treated as a private patient (57% compared to 38%).

Similarly, people who felt their health was excellent, very good or good were also one and a half times more likely than people who felt their health was fair or poor to have been treated as a private patient.

Not surprisingly, people with private health insurance were more likely to have been treated as private patients (76%) than people without private health insurance (8%) on their most recent admission to hospital. However, almost a quarter of people with private health insurance (24% or 298,800 people) chose not to be treated as a private patient on their most recent visit.





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