In 2013–14, the running costs of public hospitals was $44 billion. This represented the largest proportion of the $154.6 billion that was spent on health by all governments, insurers and patients.
The National Health Performance Authority has released a report which measures the efficiency of individual hospitals by calculating the cost of delivering a notional “average” service at each hospital, or the Cost per National Weighted Activity Unit (NWAU).
The report, released today, comes ahead of next week’s federal budget, when $2.9 billion in federal funding is expected to be added to state and territory public hospitals between 2017 and 2020.
In 2013–14, some major metropolitan public hospitals were found to cost almost twice as much as similar hospitals in the average cost of care, as measured by Cost per NWAU.
Across major metropolitan public hospitals, the average Cost per NWAU was $4,420. The averages at individual major metropolitan public hospitals ranged from $3,100 at one hospital to $6,100 at another hospital (97% higher).
In 2013–14, the lowest 10% and highest 10% of major metropolitan public hospitals are presented below.
Now see the data from 41 major metropolitan public hospitals, with limited information available for a further six.
These 47 hospitals account for nearly $10 billion of the $24.8 billion providing care to acute admitted patients.
The NHPA has interactive tool that allows you to explore the data for Australia’s largest public hospitals and their average cost of care. See it here.