Australian hospital statistics 2012-13: private hospitals (AIHW)

Australian hospital statistics 2012-13: private hospitals is a new report in AIHW's series of summary reports describing the characteristics and activity of Australia's hospitals, focussed on the role of private hospitals in Australia.

In 2012-13, 41% of all separations occurred in private hospitals. From 2003-04 to 2012-13, the total number of private hospital separations increased by 46% from 2.6 million to 3.8 million.

During this period, the number of same-day separations in private hospitals increased 60% from 1.7 million to 2.6 million separations and overnight separations increased 21% from 986,000 to 1.2 million.

Media release.

Palliative care services in Australia 2014 (AIHW)

Palliative care services in Australia 2014 is the third in a series of annual reports providing a detailed picture of the national response to the palliative care needs of Australians. Information from a range of data sources from 2012–13 and, where indicated 2011–12, are presented, as are changes over time.

There were more than 57,600 palliative care-related separations reported in public and private hospitals in 2011–12. Almost $4.7 million in Medicare Benefits Schedule payments was paid for palliative medicine specialist services in 2012–13.

Media release

Health expenditure Australia 2012-13 (AIHW)

Health expenditure Australia 2012-13 was estimated to be $147.4 billion in 2012-13, 2.4% higher than in 2011-12 and the lowest growth since 1990-91. In 2012-13, governments provided $100.8 billion (or 68.3%) of total health expenditure.

Government funding of health expenditure fell in real terms for the first time in the decade by 0.6%, largely a result of a decline in Australian Government funding of 1.9%. State and territory government funding was also relatively low, growing just 1.4% in real terms in 2012-13.

In contrast, growth in non-government funding was relatively strong at 9.7%.

Media release

Preventing suicide: a global imperative (WHO)

Every 40 seconds a person dies by suicide somewhere in the world. "Preventing suicide: a global imperative" is the first WHO report of its kind. It aims to increase awareness of the public health significance of suicide and suicide attempts, to make suicide prevention a higher priority on the global public health agenda, and to encourage and support countries to develop or strengthen comprehensive suicide prevention strategies in a multisectoral public health approach.

The report provides a global knowledge base on suicide and suicide attempts as well as actionable steps for countries based on their current resources and context to move forward in suicide prevention.

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey.

This publication presents information from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey. This survey is the largest biomedical survey ever conducted for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Around 3,300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults (aged 18 years and over) across Australia took part and voluntarily provided blood and/or urine samples, which were tested for a range of chronic disease and nutrient biomarkers.

Findings at the national level included :

* One in ten(11.1%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults had diabetes. This comprised 9.6% with diagnosed diabetes and 1.5% with diabetes newly diagnosed from their test results.

* A further 4.7% were at high risk of diabetes according to their blood test results.

* Two in three (65.3%) had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease, that is, they were taking cholesterol-lowering medication or had one or more of high total cholesterol, lower than normal levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, high LDL (bad) cholesterol or high triglycerides.

* Nearly one in five (17.9%) had signs of chronic kidney disease.

Disease indicators more than doubled for Indigenous Australians living in remote areas.

Stillbirths in Australia 1991-2009 (AIHW)

Australia is one of the safest places in the world to give birth, with rates of stillbirth among the lowest internationally. However, for every 135 Australian births one baby is stillborn, according to a report released  by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Stillbirths in Australia 1991-2009, is the first national report on stillbirths and examines the association between maternal, pregnancy and birth factors with stillbirth.

In Australia a 'stillbirth' is defined as the birth of a baby who shows no signs of life after a pregnancy of at least 20 weeks gestation or weighing 400 grams or more. In 2009, 2,341 babies were stillborn, accounting for almost three quarters of perinatal deaths. Congenital anomalies, or birth defects, are the most common cause of stillbirth in Australia, accounting for 21% of all stillbirths.

From 1991 to 2009, the stillbirth rate in Australia was between 6.4 and 7.8 per 1,000 births. The risk of stillbirth occurring between 28 and 41 weeks gestation dropped between 1991 and 2009, however there was an increase in the risk of stillbirths from 20-27 weeks.

Stillbirth rates have improved among Indigenous women-dropping from 15.5 per 1,000 births from 1991 to 1994 to 12.3 per 1,000 births from 2005 to 2009, but these rates are still higher than for non-Indigenous women.

Media release

healthinsite website has changed to healthdirect Australia

Consumer health website, health insite has been enhanced to provide easy access to health information, advice and services – online and over the phone.

To facilitate this enhanced online offering the name of the website has changed to healthdirect Australia. The website's content has increased to include the promotion of nurse triage and after hours GP helplines in addition to the existing health information and services. Company information has also been included.

Resources available include : Conditions, Symptoms, Healthy Lifestyle Advice, and information pertinent to certain Life Stages

Nursing and midwifery workforce 2013 and Medical workforce 2013 (AIHW)

Nursing and midwifery workforce 2013

This web report outlines the workforce characteristics of nurses and midwives in 2013. The total number of all nurses and midwives registered in Australia increased from 320,982 in 2009 to 344,190 in 2013 (7.2%). Between 2009 and 2013, the supply of registered nurses and midwives increased (from 917 to 971 FTE per 100,000 population), however the supply for enrolled nurses decreased (201 to 184 FTE per 100,000 population). In 2009 and 2013, there were more employed nurses and midwives in the 50-54 year age group (45,518 and 45,512, respectively) than any other age group. In 2003, however, the age group with the most employed nurses and midwives was the 45-49 year age group (43,386).

Medical workforce 2013

The supply of employed medical practitioners has remained steady since 2011, at about 380 FTE per 100,000 population. Prior to 2010, the supply of employed practitioners rose from 321 FTE per 100,000 population in 2004 to 354 per 100,000 population in 2009, an increase of 10.1%. The proportion of women among employed medical practitioners has increased steadily since 2004. In 2013, women made up 38.6% of the medical workforce.

Media release

Public Health Research & Practice

After 24 years, the "NSW Public Health Bulletin" is to close, to be relaunched as an open-access, peer-reviewed online-only journal, "Public Health Research & Practice".

The new journal has a broader public health focus, specialising in public health innovation in the provision of services.Free subscriptions to "Public Health Research & Practice"may be entered at the following link :

Mortality and life expectancy of Indigenous Australians 2008 to 2012 (AIHW)

Mortality and life expectancy of Indigenous Australians 2008 to 2012 provides an overview of current patterns and trends in mortality and life expectancy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Circulatory diseases were the leading cause of death of Indigenous Australians for the period 2008–2012 (representing 26% of Indigenous deaths), followed by cancer (20%) and injury (15%). There have been significant declines in overall Indigenous mortality rates as well as mortality rates from circulatory diseases and respiratory diseases between 2001 and 2012. However, there has been little improvement in Indigenous mortality from other causes such as cancer and injury over this period.

Media release