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Introduction

Hospitals are an important part of Australia's health landscape, providing services to many Australians each year. A summary measure of their significant role is the amount that is spent on them—an estimated $59 billion in 2013–14, about 3.7% of Australia's gross domestic product, or about $2,542 per person (AIHW 2015c). Hospital spending has been increasing faster than inflation—adjusted for inflation, it increased by 4.2% each year, on average, between 2009–10 and 2013–14.

Access to our hospital services, the quality of the services, and their funding and management arrangements are under constant public scrutiny. This summary report presents an overview of statistics on our hospitals to inform public discussion and debate on these issues.

While most data presented in this report are for 2014–15, data for hospital funding were for 2013–14. More detailed statistics and information on how to interpret the data are in the companion reports:

Information on private hospital resources and private hospital emergency department activity was sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics publication Private hospitals, Australia, 2014–15.

Further detail is also available in spreadsheets and interactive data cubes.