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Media Release

Preventable hospitalisations cost Aussies $2.3 billion last year

  • Preventable hospitalisations cost Australians $2.3 billion last financial year.
  • Kidney and urinary tract infections made up 11% of all preventable cases for 2015-2016.
  • encourages Australians to be proactive and use their health cover for preventative treatment.

19 September 2017, Sydney, Australia – Australians spent $2.3 billion last year on hospital stays that could have been prevented, according to new research by, the site that compares virtually everything.

With preventable hospitalisations making up one in 15 of all 2015-2016 admissions, this equates 6% of the $35.5 billion spent in total last year on admitted care.

The analysis of AIHW data released in July found that nationally there was a total of 678,760 potentially preventable hospitalisations last financial year for illnesses ranging from asthma to iron deficiency anaemia.

However, kidney and urinary tract infections were the most common preventable condition for 2015-2016, making up 11% of all cases and affecting 330 per 100,000 Australians.

While dental conditions were only the third biggest culprit nationally, they still caused the highest amount of hospitalisations in a number of states including Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia last year.

The top 5 hospitalised preventable conditions for Australians in 2015-2016:

#Potentially preventable conditionNumber of cases
1Kidney and urinary tract infections74,909
2Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)71,539
3Dental conditions67,060
5Congestive heart failure60,684

Bessie Hassan, Insurance Expert at, says issues such as dental conditions can likely be treated or prevented through routine maintenance.

“Ongoing hospital stays often cost more than proactive measures so it’s important to check family medical history for any red flags, and make any necessary lifestyle changes.

“Whether it’s the taxpayer or the patient covering the hospital costs, these are expenses that could have been potentially prevented.”

Ms Hassan says that those avoiding prevention due to cost should look to alternative payment methods.

“Some Australians may be able to fund some prevention methods through what they already pay for in private health insurance.

“Some health insurance policies provide dental cover for preventative treatments and check-ups, and can subsidise some portions of gym memberships, so find out what you can claim by speaking to your health fund.”

Australians spent a total of 2,398,037 preventable bed days in hospital between 2015-2016.


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