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Use Of Free-Standing Day Hospitials Soars

Private Hospitals: Use Of Free-Standing Day Hospitals Soars

Press Release From the Australian Bureau of Statistics

Figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that private free-standing day hospitals in Australia treated 271,700 patients in 1997-98, up 20 percent on 1996-97. This continues the strong growth since 1991-92 when the collection of these statistics commenced. These day hospitals are privately owned and mainly comprise general surgery, specialist endoscopy, ophthalmic (eye) and plastic surgery clinics.

In contrast, the number of admitted patients treated at all other (acute and psychiatric) private hospitals in 1997-98 rose only 3 percent on 1996-97, to 1.6 million. This follows annual increases averaging 6 percent since 1991-92.

The annual growth in days of hospitalisation (patient days) at private acute and psychiatric hospitals has almost ceased. In 1997-98, there were 5.9 million patient days provided at these hospitals, an increase of only 0.1 percent on 1996-97. This continues the slowing down in growth first recorded in 1996-97, when patient days increased by 0.2 percent over the previous year. These small increases follow much stronger growth, averaging 5 percent, between 1991-92 and 1995-96.

There were 317 private acute and psychiatric hospitals and 175 free-standing day hospitals operating in Australia in 1997-98. Together, these performed 1.6 million surgical, obstetric and other procedures and employed 43,000 staff. Expenditure by these hospitals in 1997-98 was $3,757 million. This represents 8 percent of the expenditure by the entire health sector in Australia and 0.7 percent of gross domestic product.

Copies of the publication Private Hospitals, Australia (Cat. No. 4390.0) are available from ABS Bookshops. This news release and a summary of findings can be found on the ABS Internet Home Page at http:\\www.abs.gov.au.

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