The latest government figures released today (April 30) have revealed that hospital admissions in Australian continue to rise.
Published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the Australian hospital statistics 2010-11 report showed hospital admissions increased 8.9 million in the 12 month period – up from 8.5 million in 2009-10.
Public hospitals saw a 4.1 per cent increase in admissions, while the number of Australians admitted to hospitals catering exclusively to those with private health cover rose by 3.9 per cent.
"This contrasts with the trend over five years which showed larger increases for private hospitals than for public hospitals," AIHW spokesperson Jenny Hargreaves said.
"People aged over 65 make up a large proportion of all hospital admissions – accounting for 38 per cent of hospital admissions in 2010-11 and 48 per cent of patient stays."
Ms Hargreaves explained that the number of admissions for people aged over 85 has also increased significantly over the last five years, jumping by more than 40 per cent.
According to the report, approximately two-thirds of elective admissions involving surgery were performed in private hospitals.