Private Health Establishments Collection

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    The Private Health Establishments collection is an annual survey which collects information about the activities, staffing and finances of all private hospitals in Australia.

    There are 2 categories of private hospitals

    1. Private acute and psychiatric hospitals
    2. Free-standing day hospital facilities.

    Most data are released with a State dissection.

    The purpose of the collection is to provide statistics for use by health authorities, researchers, hospital operators and associations for policy, planning and management reasons.

    Private Health statistics are widely used to support important decisions in policy development and planning in the delivery of health care. Private hospital statistics have become very important in recent years as different strategies are proposed to better manage health care costs in both the private and public sectors. Comprehensive, national statistics are vital if this strategy debate is to be well informed.

    There is an important focus on the efficent delivery of health services to the Australian public. In recent years the Australian health care system has been under scrutiny to justify its current position and make informed decisions about the future delivery of health care services. In addition, the Federal government's health reform agenda has made availability of relevant and timely information on the private health industry a greater priority.

    The function of the PHEC statistics is to understand the current position of the private health care sector. This assists government agencies to make informed decisions about the appropriate allocation of funding between private and public health sectors. Furthermore the PHEC statistics are used by researchers to analyse the effectiveness of the private health sector, and conduct studies on the efficiency of this sector. The outcomes of these studies and research by government and academic sectors determines the appropriate course of action that will lead to a health care system that delivers quality services that are accessible to the public.

    The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare collects and disseminates information about public hospitals.

    The scope includes all private, acute and psychiatric hospitals licensed by State and Territory, health authorities and all free standing day hospital facilities approved by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, and which operate for all or any part of the reference year (100% coverage).


    Conceptual framework
    PHEC provides a measure of the contribution made by private acute and psychiatric hospitals and free-standing day hospitals to the total services provided by hospitals in Australia. This contribution is important to know when governments make decisions about the overall capacity, quality and accessiblity of the Australian health care system.

    Main outputs
    Main outputs include data on Private hospitals: structure, accreditation, facilities and specialised services, whether they are for profit or not for profit (for Acute and psychiatric hospitals only), available beds, type of centre (for free-standing day hospitals only), type of activities (patients separations and the number of patient days during the year), procedures performed, morbidity data, staffing and finances.

    The data items and definitions are based on the National Health Data Dictionary produced by AIHW and other classifications with the addition of data items requested by private hospital associations and health authorities.

    National Health Data Dictionary available from link on this page AIHW National Data Dictionaries
    International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems

    Long and short descriptions of the latest version of AR-DRG for Major Diagnostic Categories (MDCs), Error DRGs and Pre-MDC codes (MDC/Partition/DRG Structure) are available from links on this page AR-DRG Manuals

    Australian Classification of Health Interventions available from link on this page AIHW ACHI
    The locations of all private health establishments had been coded according to the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (State/territory and Capital City/Rest of State breakdown provided for some data items). From 2010-11 the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) was introduced. PHEC provided data on both classifications for one yea (2010-2011) to enable a data comparison between the two classifications. For the 2011-12 collection onwards, the Capital City/ Rest of State breakdown was removed, replaced with a Metro/Rural split.

    Other concepts (summary)
    Data is collected from individual private, acute and psychiatric hospitals and free-standing day hospitals at hospital establishment level.

    • A separation is the process by which an admitted patient completes an episode of care.
    • Patient days are the number of days of stay (ie.) separation date minus admission date for admitted patients who underwent separation during the financial year.

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory
    Other (specify below)

    Comments and/or Other Regions
    Data is collected at the establishment level. Due to confidentiality, data below state level is not usually available, except for Metropolitan and Rural (2010-11 was first year for this ASGS classification).


    Frequency comments

    The first collection conducted by ABS was in respect of 1991-92. Previously, the collection was conducted by Department of Health and Family Services and the Australian Private Hospitals Association, at which time Hospitals were asked to provide the information on a voluntary basis.PHEC was not conducted for Financial Year 2007/2008 due to ABS budget limitations.


    Data availability comments

    - Data are released annually
    - Data are first released 12 months after the end of the reference period, through the publication Private Hospitals, Australia (4390.0). Other data will be released at the same time. (see section 12.4).

    14/11/2016 01:11 PM