Australian hospital services: An overview Academic Article uri icon


  • Hospital services in Australia are provided by public hospitals (about 75% of hospitals, two-thirds of separations) and private hospitals (the balance). Australians use about one bed day per person per year, with an admission rate of about300 admissions per thousand population per annum. Provision rates for public hospitals have declined significantly (by 40%) over the last 20 years but separation rates have increased. Average length of stay for overnight patients has been stable but, because the proportion of same day patients has increased dramatically, overall length of stay has declined from around seven days in the mid 1980s to around four days in the late 1990s. Overall, the Commonwealth and state governments each meet about half the costs of public hospital care, private health insurance meets about two-thirds of the costs of private hospitals.

publication date

  • 2002