Hospitalisations increased during 2022–23, new data shows

UNDER EMBARGO—until 12.01AM, Thursday 16 May 2024

Overall hospitalisations rose, with Australians spending more than 33 million days in hospital during 2022–23, new Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) data shows.

MyHospitals: Admitted patient care 2022–23 includes the latest data on the number of hospitalisations for admitted patients across Australia, including public and private hospitals, during 2022–23. It contains data on same day and overnight hospitalisations and provides information on care provided in both public and private hospitals. 

“There was a 4.6% increase in hospitalisations across all Australian hospitals during 2022–23, with hospitalisations in public and private hospitals increasing by 4.3% and 5.0% respectively compared to 2021–22,” said AIHW spokesperson Clara Jellie. “Overall, there was a total of 12.1 million hospitalisations in 2022–23.

“Same-day hospitalisations across all Australian hospitals increased by 5.6% in 2022–23 compared to 2021–22. There was also a 2.8% increase in the number of overnight admissions across all hospitals. Every state and territory had increases in the number of hospitalisations in public hospitals during 2022–23.”

Australians spent a total of 33.2 million days in hospital during 2022–23, with people aged 60 and over accounting for 59% of these patient days of care. 

“There was a 4.5% overall increase in patient days spent in hospital, including a 4.9% increase in public hospitals,” Ms. Jellie said.   

“While the total number of hospitalisations increased during 2022–23, the number of hospitalisations per 1,000 people during 2022–23 (415.2) was slightly lower than in 2018–19 (421.7) but higher than it was in 2019–20 (401.2). This reflects the volatility of hospital activity, including decreases in hospital activity and disruptions to staffing availability, across many states and territories in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

In 2022–23, there were just under 3 million hospitalisations requiring surgery. Just under 382,000 of these were emergency surgeries, with about 2.5 million elective (planned) surgeries. Surgery was an activity that was heavily affected by COVID-19: overall, the number of surgical hospitalisations increased by 7.7% in 2022–23, but this was following a 5.8% decrease in the previous reporting period. 

Around 1.8 million hospitalisations involving surgery were carried out in private hospitals. “In general, public and private hospitals tend to provide different types of care,” Ms. Jellie said. 

“Profiles differ for public and private hospitals as private hospitals undertake a lot more of these surgeries but are also much more likely to perform them as an elective (planned) admission.”

Also released today is updated 2022–23 MyHospitals data on services provided to non-admitted patients (out patients) in Australian public hospitals. It includes information on the types of services provided, the types of clinics in which the services take place, the users of services and the funding of services.

In 2022–23, 41.1 million non-admitted patient care services were recorded in public hospitals compared with 39.0 million in 2018–19. Of the 34.1 million episode-level service events recorded in 2022–23, over half (53%) were for people aged 50 and over. 

Data on healthcare-associated Staphylococcus aureus (‘Golden staph’) bloodstream infections (SABSI) has also been released today. In 2022–23 there were 1,688 cases of SABSI occurring during 22.5 million days of patient care in public hospitals – a rate of 0.74 SABSI cases per 10,000 patient days. 

This is similar to the rate seen in 2021–22 (0.73 cases per 10,000 patient days) but lower than that seen in 2010–11 (1.1 case per 10,000 patient days). Public hospitals in almost every state and territory had rates below the national benchmark of 1.0 case per 10,000 patient days.

AIHW MyHospitals data can be viewed here

Media enquiries: Stuart Turner, AIHW. Tel: 0415 403 208

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