In 2017–18, there were 11.3 million separations (episodes of admitted patient care) in Australia’s public and private hospitals—60% of these occurred in public hospitals.
Between 2013–14 and 2017–18, the number of separations rose by 3.8% on average each year—by 4.2% for public hospitals and by 3.3% for private hospitals. This was greater than the average growth in population over the same period (1.6% per year).
There were 30.2 million days of patient care reported for admitted patients—20.3 million in public hospitals and 10.0 million in private hospitals. Between 2013–14 and 2017–18, the number of patient days rose by 2.1% on average each year.
Who used these services?
In 2017–18, people aged 65 and over (who make up about 15% of the population) accounted for 42% of separations and 49% of patient days.
Between 2013–14 and 2017–18, separations for people aged 65 to 74 increased by 28%, an average increase of 6.3% each year. This was faster than the population growth for this age group during that period (about 4.1% each year).
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 4.9% of separations (551,000) and they were hospitalised at 2.6 times the rate for other Australians.