What services were provided?

What services were provided?

The nature of services provided for admitted patients can be classified to broad categories of service, including hospitalisations for Childbirth, Mental health care, Subacute and non-acute care, Medical acute care (not involving a procedure), Surgical acute care (involving an operating room procedure) or a non-surgical procedure, such as endoscopy (Other acute care).

Information is also presented on hospitalisations that included intensive care.

Broad category of service

In 2017–18:

  • public hospitals accounted for the majority of childbirth and medical hospitalisations (both 77%)
  • private hospitals accounted for 59% of Surgical and 58% of Mental health hospitalisations.

Between 2013–14 and 2017–18:

  • in public hospitals, emergency surgical separations increased by an average of 3.0% each year and emergency medical separations increased by 4.5% each year
  • in private hospitals, emergency medical separations increased by an average of 5.5% each year emergency surgical separations increased by 5.6% each year.
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Mental health care

Mental health care is care with a goal to improve the symptoms and/or psychosocial, environmental and physical functioning related to a patient’s mental disorder.

In 2017–18:

  • there were 336,000 separations for Mental health care
  • 58% of these occurring in private hospitals
  • 84% of mental health care separations in public hospitals involved a stay of at least one night
  • 78% of mental health care separations in private hospitals involved same-day care.

Intensive care

An intensive care unit (ICU) can provide complex, multi-system life support.

In 2017–18:

  • overall, 1.4% of hospitalisations (161,000) involved a stay in an ICU
  • the average length of stay in an ICU unit was almost 4 days in public hospitals and just over 2 days in private hospitals.

Newborn care

A newborn admission to hospital can occur at any time within the first 9 days of life, including at the time of birth.

In 2017–18:

  • there were nearly 308,000 newborn hospitalisations, with the majority (82%) occurring in public hospitals
  • about 76% of newborns did not require specialised, qualified care
  • the most common diagnosis was Disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight, not elsewhere classified (29% of separations).

Rehabilitation care

Rehabilitation care is aimed at improved functioning—for example after injury, knee reconstruction, hip replacement, heart attack or stroke.

In 2017–18, for hospitalisations involving rehabilitation care:

  • 466,000 hospitalisations occurred, with 80% of these in private hospitals
  • 72% were for people aged over 65
  • 51% were to treat a musculoskeletal problem, and 16% were for treating an injury or poisoning.

Between 2013–14 and 2017–18, rehabilitation care increased by an average of 9.8% per year in private hospitals and was relatively stable in public hospitals.

Palliative care

Palliative care is care in which the primary clinical purpose or treatment goal is to optimise the quality of life of a patient with an active and advanced life-limiting illness.

In 2017–18:

  • there were 46,000 palliative care hospitalisations
  • 55% of palliative care hospitalisations had a principal diagnosis that was related to cancer.

Between 2013–14 and 2017–18, palliative care hospitalisations remained stable for private hospitals and increased by an average of 4.7% per year for public hospitals.

Where to go for more information

For more information on intensive care, newborn care, rehabilitation and palliative care, see Chapter 5 of Admitted patient care 2017–18: Australian hospital statistics.