Admitted patients

Admitted patients are patients who undergo a public or private hospital’s formal admission process to receive treatment and/or care. The types of care provided include surgical care, medical care, intensive care, newborn care, rehabilitation care, palliative care, and mental health care.

Explore more details on the care provided to admitted patients via the links at the bottom of the page.

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How many hospitalisations were there?

In 2017–18:

  • there were 11.3 million hospitalisations (episodes of admitted patient care) in Australia’s public and private hospitals—61% of these were in public hospitals
  • in public hospitals, a large proportion of hospitalisations were emergency admissions (42%), while in private hospitals, hospitalisations were more likely to be elective or other planned care (94%)
  • public hospitals accounted for the majority of emergency admissions (92%), childbirth hospitalisations (77%) and medical hospitalisations (77%). Private hospitals accounted for 59% of surgical hospitalisations and 58% of mental health care hospitalisations
  • there were 2.2 million hospitalisations involving elective surgery—33% of these were in public hospitals and 67% in private hospitals
  • 42% of hospitalisations and 49% of patient days were for people aged 65 and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 4.9% of hospitalisations (551,000), and they were hospitalised at 2.6 times the rate as other Australians.

Almost half of admitted patient days were for older Australians

In 2017–18:

  • 42% of hospitalisations and 49% of patient days were for people aged 65 and over. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 4.9% of hospitalisations (551,000), and they were hospitalised at 2.6 times the rate for other Australians
  • diseases of the digestive system accounted for 9% of hospitalisations (over 1.0 million) and diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue accounted for a further 7% of hospitalisations
  • in public hospitals, 83% of hospitalisations (5.6 million) were for public patients. The remaining 17% of hospitalisations were funded by other sources—the majority (906,000, 13%) were for patients who used private health insurance to fund all or part of their admission
  • in contrast, 82% of hospitalisations in private hospitals were funded by private health insurance, 7% were self-funded and 4% were for public patients.

Where do I find more information?

More data about admitted patient care and hospital resources is available to explore in the data section of the following reports and in the Data downloads section.