4390.0 - Private Hospitals, Australia, 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/06/2014   
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For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.


The scope of the collection is:

  • 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 Aging for the purpose of health insurance benefits.

Free-standing day hospital facilities are classified by the main income earning activity of the centre. Until 2009-10, the four main types were general surgery, specialist endoscopy, ophthalmic & plastic/cosmetic, as well as a residual "Other" category. The increasing proportion of the hospitals that were reporting in the residual category led the ABS to include six additional activities as of the 2010-11 collection. The new activities were Gynaecology, Dental,oral and maxillofacial, Oncology, Dialysis, Fertility treatment, and Family Planning. In addition, Specialist endoscopy is now included in a broader category, Gastroenterology. Other types of hospitals, for example sleep disorder clinics, are included in the residual category.

Coverage includes all private hospitals in Australia which operated for all or only part of the reference year are included in the collection. Updated lists of private hospitals are received throughout the year from state, territory and Commonwealth health authorities and every effort is made to include all hospitals in scope.


Private Hospitals data are published annually on a financial year basis, and are generally released within 12 months of the end of the reference period.


Non-sample errors are the main influence on accuracy in datasets which are a complete census of the population rather than a sample. Non-sample error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. The most significant of these errors are: mis-reporting of data items; deficiencies in coverage; non-response to particular questions; and processing errors.

Every effort is made to minimise error by working closely with data providers, the careful design of forms, training of processing staff, and efficient data processing procedures. The changes in form design in 2010-11, and the collection of data by web form from 2011-12, are aimed at helping providers to further improve the supply of complete and accurate data.

Establishments that provided incomplete forms were contacted to obtain the missing details. Hospital staff are asked to provide estimates in cases where records for the data item were not kept. If reasonable estimates could not be provided by the establishment then the data item was either left blank (and is therefore not available) or was imputed by ABS staff.


Use of the supporting documentation released with the statistics is important for assessing coherence within the dataset and when comparing the statistics with data from other sources. Changing business rules over time and/or across data sources can affect consistency and hence interpretability of statistical output. The Explanatory Notes in each issue contains information pertinent to this particular release which may impact on comparison over time.


The Private Hospitals publication contains detailed Explanatory Notes and Glossary that provide information on the data sources, terminology, classifications and other technical aspects associated with these statistics.

Changes to the collection over time are also noted in the Explanatory Notes of the relevant issue. The Private Health Establishment Collection was not conducted for the 2007-08 reference period due to the ABS budgetary constraints. This represents a break in the time series for the collection. The collection was reinstated for the 2008-09 reference period and will be conducted for the 2013-14 reference year.


In addition to the information provided in this publication, a series of data cubes are also available providing detailed breakdowns by Acute and Psychiatric Hospitals and Free-standing Day Hospital Facilities. The ABS observes strict confidentiality protocols as required by the Census and Statistics Act (1905). This may restrict access to data at a very detailed level which is sought by some users.

There are relatively few psychiatric hospitals and some of these are owned by the same parent company. To maintain the confidentiality of their data, psychiatric hospitals are combined with acute hospitals in most tables in this publication. Any differences between data presented in this publication and the data shown in other reports on private hospital activity are due to differences in scope and coverage, relative completeness of the data sources and differing error procedures.

If the information you require is not available from the publication or the data cubes, then the ABS may also have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or by sending an email to client.services@abs.gov.au.