8570.0 - Health Care Services, 2009-10 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/07/2011  First Issue
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Financial data presented in this publication have been compiled from the standard financial accounts of businesses/organisations; therefore, the definition of each reported item aligns closely with that adopted in standard business accounting practice. Included in the glossary are published data items and components used to calculate derived items.

ABN unit

The statistical unit used by the ABS to represent businesses/organisations, and for which statistics are reported, in most cases. The ABN unit is the business/organisation unit which has registered for an ABN, and thus appears on the ATO administered Australian Business Register. In most cases, the ABN unit represents the legal entity. This unit is suitable for ABS statistical needs when the business/organisation is simple in structure. For more significant and diverse businesses/organisations where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical needs, the statistical unit used is the type of activity unit (TAU).

Administrative service business

The administrative service business is a formal legal and accounting entity for which detailed financial statements are produced.

The business provides administrative, secretarial or similar support services to one or more medical or health care service businesses/organisations. The cost of these support services is usually reimbursed by management fee or service company fee payments from the medical or health care service businesses/organisations to the administrative service business.

Allied health practitioners

Refers to dental practitioners, dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental prosthetists/technicans, dental assistants, physiotherapists, optometrists, optical dispensers, chiropractors, osteopaths, psychologists, complementary medicine practitioners and other health care practitioners.


Specialist physician who administers anaesthetics to prevent pain and maintain major body function throughout surgical and related procedures. Anaesthetists must be registered with the Medical Board of Australia.

Average fee for service earned per practitioner

Refers to fee for service earned by all practitioners working in a business/organisation. For the dental services chapter, dental assistants are excluded from this calculation.

Bulk billing payments

Also known as 'direct billing', under bulk billing arrangements medical/health practitioners can directly bill Medicare, Veterans affairs or another insurer, accepting the relevant rebate as full payment for the service. No additional charges relating to the service apply to the patient.

Businesses/organisations at end June

A business/organisation is generally considered to be a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in business or commerce. This includes businesses/organisations providing medical/health services and/or businesses providing administrative, secretarial or managerial services to medical/health businesses/organisations at the end of June.

In this publication, the term represents the ABN unit or type of activity unit (TAU), which are the two standard statistical units for the 2009-10 Economic Activity Survey collections (these two units are explained under separate entries). For details, see Explanatory Notes paragraphs 10-13.

Business size

Based on the number of registered practitioners working for the business/organisation at the end of June.

Casual/temporary employees

Casual employees are those persons employed by the business or organisation who are not entitled to take paid leave. Temporary employees are those whose employment is for a limited term.


Chiropractors practise a method of healing which relies upon the removal of nerve interference by manual adjustment of the spinal column. Chiropractors are required to be registered with the Chiropractic Board of Australia and currently undertake a 5 year university degree.

Complementary medicine practitioner

Refers to a specific group of allied health practitioners comprised of acupuncturists, herbalists, homeopaths, hypnotherapists, naturopaths and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners.

Contract payments for medical/health services

These are payments made to the businesses/organisations of registered medical/health practitioners and other professionals (including one-off incentive payments) who are not employees, and for which Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax has not been deducted . Also includes payments to other businesses/organisations for medical/health services.

Contract, subcontract and commission expenses

Payments to other businesses/organisations and self-employed persons for work done or sales made on a contract or commission only basis.

Corporate practice

Refers to a practice in which medical businesses have been contracted to a corporate administrative entity for a fixed period to provide medical/health services. The corporate entity is generally owned by persons who are not medical practitioners. The corporate practice comprises at least 10 medical/health businesses which use the facilities and infrastructure provided by the corporate entity. The medical/health businesses are usually centralised at the same location so as to provide sufficient volume to attract other medical/health services.Dental assistant

A person who assists the dental practitioner to perform dental procedures. May also be referred to as chairside assistants or dental nurses.

Dental hygienist

A dental hygienist specialises in preventative oral health, typically focusing on techniques in oral hygiene. Hygienists generally work for a dentist. Common procedures performed by hygienists include cleanings known as prophylaxis, scaling, taking of prescribed radiographs, dental sealants, administration of fluoride, and providing instructions for proper oral hygiene and care. Dental hygienists must be registered with the Dental Board of Australia.

Dental practitioner

Dental practitioners evaluate and treat disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and adjacent and associated structures. Dental practitioners may specialise as endodontists, oral/maxillofacial surgeons, oral pathologists, orthodontists, paedodontists, periododontists, prosthodontists or special needs dentists. Dental practitioners must be registered with the Dental Board of Australia. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons must be registered with the Medical Board of Australia.

Dental prosthetist/dental technician

Dental prosthetists/dental technicians construct custom made restorative and dental appliances upon prescription from a dental clinician. Dental prosthetists/dental technicians must be registered with the Dental Board of Australia.

Dental therapist

Dental therapists specialise in treating children's teeth and are generally employed by government clinics and school dental services. Typically, therapists under the prescription of a dentist are licensed to examine children's teeth, administer restricted techniques of local anaesthesia, take radiographs, provide sealants, scaling and cleaning, and restore primary and secondary teeth. Dental therapists must be registered with the Dental Board of Australia.

Diagnostic imaging practitioner

Diagnostic imaging practitioners specialise in the evaluation of anatomical disorders and diagnosis of diseases and conditions of the human body through the production of clinical images including x-rays, ultrasound, computed tomography, magnetic resonance, radionuclide scanning and thermography. Includes radiologists, radiographers, sonographers and nuclear medicine technologists. Diagnostic imaging practitioners must be registered with the Medical Board of Australia.

Direct health care services provision

Refer to medical and health related services provided to individuals, families and the community on an interactive or face-to-face basis or on their behalf. Employees

Number of persons employed by businesses/organisations during the last pay period ending in June of the given year, who are paid through the payroll and for whom PAYE tax is deducted.


Number of persons working for businesses/organisations during the last pay period ending in June of the given year. Includes working proprietors and partners, employees absent on paid or prepaid leave, employees on workers' compensation who continue to be paid through the payroll, and contract workers paid through the payroll. Excludes persons paid by commission only, non-salaried directors, volunteers and self-employed persons such as consultants and contractors.

Enrolled nurse

Enrolled nurses are second level nurses who are enrolled in all states except Victoria where they are registered by the state registration board to practise in this capacity. Enrolled nurses work under the supervision of a registered nurse and must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Fee for service

Income received by the business/organisation for the provision of medical services. It includes bulk billing payments from Medicare, Veterans affairs and other bulk billing providers, workers compensation and other compensation payments, private health insurance payments, patient payments including gap and full fee payments, and other fee payments not specified separately.

'For profit' businesses/organisations

Businesses and organisations which operate with the intention of making profits. Gap payments

Payments made by patients for the provision of medical/health services, where the patient pays the difference between the full fee payment charged and rebates provided by Medicare or other bulk billing insurers and/or private health insurers.

General medical practitioners

Refers to qualified medical practitioners who provides primary continuing and comprehensive care to individuals, families and the community. General practitioners consists of practitioners who are vocationally qualified and registered as such with the Medical Board of Australia, and those that are non-vocationally registered and have not satisfied the Australian Medical Association requirements for vocational registration.

General practitioner (GP) medical practice

A GP medical practice may consist of a GP medical business, a GP medical business supported by an administrative service business or a group of medical businesses supported by an administrative service business. Please refer to Technical Note 2: Estimation methodology (paragraph 8) for further details.

Government funding

Funding from federal, state and/or local government for operational costs (e.g. wages and salaries, rent, food) and for specific capital items. Operational funding includes bounties, subsidies, export grants, apprenticeship and traineeship schemes, community service obligations, and amounts reimbursed under the Australian Government's Energy Grants (Credit) Scheme. Also includes payments made to general practitioners by the Commonwealth government under the Practice Incentives Program. Capital funding includes capital grants, and low interest or interest free loans made by government to businesses/organisations to encourage expenditure on specific equipment (e.g. environmental protection equipment).

Industry class

The structure of ANZSIC comprises four levels, ranging from industry division (broadest level) to industry class (finest level). Activities are narrowly defined within the industry class level, which is identified by a four-digit code, e.g. Industry Class 8511 General practice medical service. Usually, an activity is primarily defined to one class. However, some activities may be primary to more than one class.

Industry group

Industry group are built up from industry classes and include classes that are closely related, e.g. Group 851 Medical services includes general practice medical services and specialist medical services.

Industry subdivision

This is the broadest level category within each industry division of ANZSIC and is identified by a two-digit code, e.g. Industry Subdivision 85 for Medical and other health care services. Industry subdivisions are built up from industry groups which, in turn, are built up from industry classes. Industry value added (IVA)

IVA represents the value added by an industry to the intermediate inputs used by the industry. IVA is the measure of the contribution by businesses/organisations, in the selected industry, to gross domestic product.

The derivation of IVA for individual businesses/organisations depends on whether they are classified as market or non-market producers. Non-market producers are those institutions which provide goods or services either free or at prices that are not economically significant. In other words, their prices are not significantly influenced by the amounts that producers are willing to supply, nor the amounts that users are willing to pay to purchase the goods or services being provided. Conversely, market producers provide goods and services at prices that are economically significant.

For market producers, the derivation of IVA is as follows:
      Sales and service income
plus funding from federal, state and/or local government for operational costs
plus Capital work done for own use
plus Closing inventories
less Opening inventories
less Purchases of goods and materials
less Other intermediate input expenses

which covers the major expenses incurred by businesses in producing and distributing goods and services (except labour costs), and comprises two sub-categories of operating expenses:

(i) Purchases of goods, materials and services used in production, which include:
  • purchases of materials, components, containers and packaging materials, electricity, fuels and water
  • purchases of goods for resale (without any further processing or assembly)
  • freight and cartage expenses.

(ii) Other intermediate input expenses

Expenses related to the sale of goods and administrative expenses, which include:
  • management fees/charges paid to related and unrelated businesses
  • bank charges other than interest
  • audit and other accounting expenses
  • legal fees
  • advertising expenses
  • postal and telecommunication expenses
  • office supplies and printing expenses
  • travelling, accommodation and entertainment expenses
  • staff training
  • payments for royalties from intellectual property (e.g. patents and copyrights)
  • payments to employment agencies for staff.

equals IVA

However, it should be noted that IVA is a measure of economic activity and is not equivalent to operating profit before tax (OPBT). Wage and salary expenses and most other labour costs are not taken into account in its calculation for market producers, and nor are most insurance premiums, interest expenses or depreciation and a number of lesser expenses (see the entry for total expenses for further details). On the income side, OPBT includes total income, whereas IVA only includes sales and service income.

As a principle, the output of non-market production is valued at cost, including intermediate input expenses. As shown in the above derivation, purchases and other intermediate input expenses are deducted from output in order to arrive at IVA. Accordingly, the derivation of IVA for non-market producers can be described as follows:
      Selected labour costs
plus depreciation and amortisation
equals IVA

Estimates of industry value added are obtained by summing the contributions of businesses/organisations classified to that industry, both market and (if any) non-market producers. Market producers predominate in the medical and health care industries.

Industry value added is related to, but different from, the national accounting variable gross value added. For national accounts purposes, gross value added is calculated by adjusting industry value added to include General government units and also to account for some other effects. Labour costs

Comprises wages and salaries, employer contributions into superannuation, workers' compensation premiums/costs, fringe benefits tax, payroll tax, salary sacrificed earnings paid on behalf of employees and employee share based payments and stock options.

Locations at end June

The number of permanent physical locations from which businesses and organisations operated at the end of June where employees were usually based.

Medical, surgical and other health related supplies

Refers to purchases of materials and equipment, in relation to the treatment of patients/clients. Capitalised purchases of materials and equipment are excluded.

Medicare payments

Bulk billing payments made by the Federal government for the provision of medical/health services to patients.

Non-vocational general medical practitioners

Overseas, and temporary resident general medical practitioners who have not passed the Australian Medical Board exams, and Australian and New Zealand general practitioners who are not fully qualified.

'Not for profit' organisations

Organisations whose status does not permit them to be a source of income, profit or other financial gain for the units that establish, control or finance them.

Nurse practitioner

Nurse practitioners are senior clinical staff within their chosen speciality. They require a masters degree or equivalent to register with their state nursing board. Nurse practitioners must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. Operating profit before tax

Profit before extraordinary items are brought to account and prior to the deduction of income tax and appropriations to owners (e.g. dividends paid), i.e. total income - total expenses + change in inventories.

Operating profit margin

Total operating profit before tax expressed as a percentage of total sales of goods and services.

Optical dispenser

A qualified professional engaged in the fitting of prescription lenses to frames; the surface treatment of lenses; and the dispensing of contact lenses, and related optical appliances.


Optometrists engage in primary eye and vision care for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of associated disorders and for the improvement of vision by the prescription of spectacles and by the use of other functional, optical and pharmaceutical means regulated by State law. Optometrists must be registered with the Optometry Board of Australia.


Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit. Osteopathic treatment uses techniques such as stretching and massage for general treatment of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) along with mobilisation of specific joints and soft tissues. Osteopaths are required to be registered with the Osteopathy Board of Australia and currently undertake a 5 year university masters degree to achieve registration in Australia.

Other bulk billing payments

Refers to bulk billing payments other than Medicare. Includes Veterans affairs bulk billing and other bulk billing payments not separately itemised such as non Medicare bulk billing arrangements in some states and territories.

Other contract, subcontract and commission expenses

Payments to other businesses/organisations and self-employed persons for work done or sales made on a contract or commission only basis. Excludes payments made to businesses/organisations for the provision of medical/health services and commissions paid to own employees or persons who receive a retainer.

Other expenses

Expenses from sources not separately itemised. Includes advertising expenses; audit and other accounting fees; bad debts; bank charges other than interest; depreciation and amortisation; entertainment expenses; interest expenses; legal expenses; paper, printing and stationery expenses; postal and courier expenses; repair and maintenance expenses; telecommunication expenses; transport and motor vehicle running expenses (excluding fuels used); travel and accommodation expenses; and other expenses not elsewhere classified. Other fee payments

Refers to fee for medical/health services provided to patients, not separately itemised.

Other health practitioners and professionals

Refers to practitioners and other staff providing medical/health services, that are not separately identified.

Other income

Income from sources not separately itemised, including income from the provision of support services and other services; funding from non-government sources; income from donations, bequests, sponsorships and fundraising; dividend income; interest income; income from rent, leasing and hiring; net profit or loss on share trading or asset sales or resulting from the revaluation of assets in accordance with the Australian Equivalent of International Financial Reporting Standards (AEIFRS). Also includes sales of goods and government funding (where not separately itemised).

Other income from medical/health related services

Income received for the provision of medical/health services, excluding fee for service medical/health income and income received from government health programs. It includes: contract income for medical/health services, Visiting Medical officer income, teaching income, income from producing articles for journals and papers for conferences, committee fees, medico legal work and death and cremation certificate fee income.

Other insurance premiums

Premiums for fire, general, accident, public liability, optional third-party and comprehensive motor vehicle insurance, and common law liability. Excludes professional indemnity insurance (itemised separately), workers' compensation insurance premiums/costs (included in labour costs) and compulsory third party motor vehicle insurance premiums (included in motor vehicle running expenses).

Other patient payments

Full fee payments made by patients for the provision of medical/health services where the patient bears the entire cost of the service. Full fee patient payments are likely to be overstated for allied health service providers depending on whether the service provider and private health fund providers participate in the Health Industry Claims and Payments Service (HICAPS) scheme, as patients with private health fund cover may be required to pay the full fee at the time of consultation and then claim a rebate from private health insurance at a later date.

Other staff

Refers to administrative and support staff providing support services such as managerial, Information Technology or secretarial services to medical/health businesses/organisations during the last pay period ending in June. It includes persons employed and persons working on contract for the business/organisation. It excludes registered medical/health practitioners and other staff providing medical/health services. Pathologist

A pathologist specialises in the laboratory detection of disease as distinguished from the use of clinical signs and symptoms. Pathology includes the sectional specialities of: general pathology, anatomical pathology, chemical pathology, cytopathology, forensic pathology, haematology, immunology and microbiology. Pathologists must be registered with the Medical Board of Australia.


Patients refers to individual contacts with medical/health practitioners and professionals. It includes consultations, procedures, surgery, home visits, patients seen at aged and disability care facilities and through outreach services. It excludes blood donors, hospital visits as part of Visiting Medical Officer duties and patients seen by pathology and diagnostic imaging centres who were referred by a registered medical/health practitioner.

Patient payments

Payments made by patients for the provision of medical/health services. This may be a full fee payment where the patient bears the entire cost of the service, or a gap payment where the patient pays the difference between the full fee payment and rebates provided by Medicare or other bulk billing insurers and/or private health insurers.

Payments to administrative businesses for support services

Payments made by a medical/health business/organisation for administrative support services such as secretarial or clerical support and/or the medical/health business/organisations' running expenses, supplied by a related administrative service business.

Payments to employment agencies for staff

Includes payment to employment agencies for the supply or recruitment of staff.

Permanent full-time employees

Employees who work 35 hours or more per week and are entitled to paid leave.

Permanent part-time employees

Employees who work less than 35 hours per week and are entitled to paid leave.

Persons working at end June

The sum of persons employed (including working proprietors and partners) and persons working on contract during the last pay period ending in June.

Persons working on contract

Refers to persons who are not employed by the business/organisation, but working on contract for the business/organisation during the last pay period in June. Persons working on contract have their own ABN and do not receive payments from the business/organisation from which PAYE tax is deducted.


Physiotherapists specialise in the treatment and rehabilitation of acute and chronic joint and muscle injuries, often using a combination of massage and a variety of prescribed therapeutic exercises that the patient carries out at home. Physiotherapists also frequently use machines such as Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or ultrasound as part of their treatment approach. Physiotherapists must be registered with the Physiotherapy Board of Australia.

Private health insurance payments

Refers to fee income paid by private health insurance towards the cost of medical/health service provision. These payments are likely to be understated for allied health service providers depending on whether the service provider and private health fund providers participate in the HICAPS scheme. Where HICAPS is not utilised, patients with private health fund cover may be required to pay the full fee at the time of consultation and then claim a rebate from private health insurance at a later date.

Professional and training expenses

Refers to continuing professional development expenses, registration and licensing fees, journal subscriptions, professional library costs, textbooks and training expenses.

Professional indemnity insurance premiums

Insurance which covers the medical/health business/organisation against a third party's financial or other loss as a result of advice provided to the third party or actions taken by staff of the business/organisation. Includes insurance paid by the business/organisation only and not individual practitioners.


Specialist physician who diagnoses, treats and prevents human mental, emotional and behavioural disorders. Psychiatrists must be registered with the Medical Board of Australia and must qualify as a specialist medical practitioner to achieve registration in Australia.


Registered professionals who study human behaviour, conduct research and provide treatment and counselling in order to reduce distress and behavioural and psychological problems, and to promote mental health in individuals and groups. Psychologists are required to be registered with the appropriate State and Territory Psychology Registration Boards.


Costs of goods and services used in the production of the final output of a business/organisation. The item includes purchases of medical and surgical supplies, goods for resale, foodstuffs, linen, purchase of parts and fuels for equipment, electricity, fuels and water and petroleum products and other fuel used to power transport and motor vehicles. Excluded are capitalised purchases and changes in inventories. Registered medical/health practitioners and other staff providing health care services

Refers to medical/health practitioners during the last pay period ending in June, whose registration is compulsory with the appropriate National board as required by The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, and other practitioners and professionals providing medical/health services.

Registered medical/health practitioners and professionals

Refer to registered medical/health practitioners and other staff providing health care services.

Registered nurse

Refers to persons with at least a three year training certificate and nurses holding post graduate qualifications. Includes: general nurse, health nurse, community health nurse, mental nurse, intellectual disability nurse, midwife, psychiatric nurse, senior nurse, charge nurse, supervisory nurse and nurse educator. Nurses must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Rent, leasing and hiring expenses

Payments for the rent, leasing and hiring of land, dwellings, other buildings and structures, motor vehicles, plant, machinery and other equipment (including telecommunication equipment). Includes operating lease payments; excludes finance lease payments.

Sales of goods

Whether or not produced by the business/organisation (including goods produced for the business/organisation on a commission basis). Includes export sales, sales or transfers to related businesses/organisations or to overseas branches of the business/organisation, progress payments relating to long term contracts if they are billed in the period, delivery charges not separately invoiced to customers, sales of goods produced by the business/organisation from crude materials purchased, and income from 'specific' rates (e.g. water, sewerage, irrigation and drainage rates). Excludes excise and duties received on behalf of the government (e.g. the petroleum production excise duty), sales of assets, natural resource royalties income, interest income, and delivery charges separately invoiced to customers. Exports are valued free on board, i.e. export freight charges are excluded.

Specialist physician/practitioner

Specialist physicians and practitioners who are qualified to practise in a particular speciality of medicine. Disciplines include: cardiology, clinical haematology, dermatology, emergency medicine, endocrinology, gastroenterology, intensive care specialty, interventional radiology, medical oncology, neurology, obstetrics and gynaecology, ophthalmology, paediatrics, radiation oncology, renal medicine, rheumatology, thoracic medicine and a number of other specialties not separately identified. Specialist physicians and practitioners must be registered with the Medical Board of Australia.


A specialist practitioner who performs operative procedures to correct deformities, repair injuries, prevent and treat diseases and improve human body functions and appearance. Disciplines include: cardiothoracic, general, neurosurgery, orthopaedic, otorhinolaryngology, paediatrics, plastic and reconstructive, urology and vascular. Surgeons must be registered with the Medical Board of Australia.

Total expenses

The sum of all expense components.

Total income

The sum of all income components.

Total persons working

Refer to Persons working at end June. Vocational general medical practitioners

General practitioners who are fully trained in Australia or New Zealand, or have trained overseas and passed the Australian Medical Board exams.

Wages and salaries

The gross wages and salaries (excluding capitalised wages and salaries) of all employees of the business/organisation. This item includes severance, termination and redundancy payments, salaries and fees of directors and executives, retainers and commissions of persons who received a retainer, bonuses, and annual and other types of leave. Provision expenses for employee entitlements (e.g. provisions for annual leave and leave bonus, long service leave, sick leave, and severance, termination and redundancy payments) are also included. Payments related to salary sacrifice, remuneration of employees in the form of share based payments and stock options and payments to self-employed persons such as consultants, contractors and persons paid solely by commission without a retainer are excluded. The drawings of working proprietors and partners are also excluded.

Workers' compensation/other compensation payments

Refers to fee for service payments made for patients whose treatment is covered by workers' compensation or other insurance payments. The medical/health business/organisation directly bills the appropriate insurer, accepting the relevant rebate as full payment for the service.

Working proprietors and partners of unincorporated businesses

A working proprietor of an unincorporated business operates his or her own business (a sole proprietorship), while a partner, along with one or more other partners, operates a partnership. Working proprietors and working partners are:
  • the owners of their business
  • legally inseparable from the business entity
  • liable for any business debts that are incurred.

As such, working proprietors and working partners of unincorporated businesses are not considered to be employees of their business.