4390.0 - Private Hospitals, Australia, 1998-99  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/06/2000   
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June 30, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Private hospitals growing in size

Australian private hospitals have increased in size, but decreased in number, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Over the five years to 1998-99, the proportion of acute and psychiatric hospitals with more than 100 beds has grown from 18 per cent to 23 per cent. In the same period, the total number of hospitals declined from 328 to 312.

Free-standing day hospital facilities (i.e. not those not located within an acute or psychiatric hospital) are becoming a widely used alternative to treatment at acute hospitals. Their strong growth, evident over the last several years, continued into 1998-99. Between 1997-98 and 1998-99, the number of these facilities increased from 175 to 190.

In 1998-99, there were 1.7 million patients treated at private acute and psychiatric hospitals, an increase of 6 per cent from the previous year. The number of patients treated at free-standing day hospitals was 302,100, up by 11 per cent on the previous year.

Revenue received by private acute and psychiatric hospitals in Australia during 1998-99 was $3,798m while recurrent expenditure was $3,614m. Wages and salaries (including items such as superannuation and payroll tax) accounted for 58 per cent of total recurrent expenditure. Other large components were drug, medical and surgical supplies (15 per cent of total) and administrative expenses (8 per cent).

The average recurrent expenditure per patient day at private acute and psychiatric hospitals in 1998-99 was $598 compared with $552 in the previous year. The same figure for hospitals with over 200 beds was $718 compared with an average of $393 for hospitals with 25 or fewer beds, reflecting the greater complexity of procedures undertaken at the larger hospitals.

Recurrent expenditure for free-standing day hospitals in 1998-99 was $137m. The average expenditure per patient was $455, a small increase from $450 in the previous year.

Copies of the publication Private Hospitals, Australia (cat. no. 4390.0) are available from ABS Bookshops. The summary of findings can be found on this site. If you wish to purchase of copy of this publication please contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.