Report on government services 2018: Health - Chapter 11 Public hospitals

Public hospitals Government expenditure Government productivity Report on government services Health Australia

Key facts:

Total recurrent expenditure on public hospitals (excluding depreciation) was $61.4 billion in 2015–16, with the Australian, State and Territory governments funding 91.8 per cent (non-government sources funded the remaining 8.2 per cent).

In 2015–16, government real recurrent expenditure on public hospitals was $2,551 per person for Australia, up from $2,366 in 2014–15.

In 2015–16, Australia had 701 public hospitals – 3 more than 2014–15. Although 68.8 per cent of hospitals had 50 or fewer beds, these smaller hospitals represented only 14.0 per cent of total available beds.

There were approximately 6.3 million separations from public (non-psychiatric) hospitals in 2015–16. Nationally, this translates into 246.9 separations per 1000 people. Acute separations accounted for the majority of separations from public hospitals.

A total of 32.3 million individual service events were provided to non-admitted patients in public hospitals in 2015–16.

There were 7.5 million presentations to emergency departments in 2015–16.

Public hospitals aim to alleviate or manage illness and the effects of injury by providing acute, non and sub-acute care along with emergency and outpatient care that is:

  • timely and accessible to all
  • appropriate and responsive to the needs of individuals throughout their lifespan and communities
  • high quality and safe
  • well co-ordinated to ensure continuity of care where more than one service type, and/or ongoing service provision is required
  • sustainable.

Governments aim for public hospital services to meet these objectives in an equitable and efficient manner.

Publication Details
License type:
Report on Government Services 2018
Chapter or part:
Part E (Health)