Australia’s private hospital industry keeps growing

Peter Terlato 29 June 2016

private hospital

NSW opened 10 new private hospitals last year.

Australia's private hospital industry has been growing steadily over the last decade, consistently increasing the numbers of beds, patients, staff, income and expenditure.

As of 2014-15 there were 624 private hospitals operating in Australia. This was an increase of 2% on the previous year's numbers and represented growth of 17.3% since 2004-5.

Full-time equivalent staff numbers have risen 32.7% in the 10 years between 2004-5 and 2014-15, while income and expenditure have more than doubled over the same period.

In NSW in 2014-15 there 10 new private hospitals were opened. Two more facilities were established in Victoria, one in Queensland and one in the territories (Tasmania, ACT or NT). In Western Australia two private hospitals were closed last year.

NSW also generated the highest levels of income ($3.87 million) and expenditure ($3.43 million) among the states in 2014-15.

The number of free-standing day hospitals increased from 326 in 2013-14 to 342 in 2014-15 but acute and psychiatric hospitals saw a decline in facility numbers from 286 in 2013-14 to 286 in 2014-15.

The net operating margin for day hospital facilities increased significantly from 17.7% in 2013-14 to a five-year high of 21.4% in 2014-15. The margin for acute and psychiatric private hospitals reduced slightly to 10.1% in 2014-15.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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