Separating the Hospital Data
As the population ages more Australians will feed through the hospital system, so to understand how the system may handle this inflow it pays to look at how different age groups are currently treated.
The following Separations data is sourced from Admitted Patient Care 2014-15. (A separation is an episode of care for an admitted patient).
The distribution of Same-Day Acute Separations fits the expected profile of an ageing population, with the frequency of care increasing with age.
By contrast, the profile of Overnight Acute Separations is rather uniform across ages.
The majority of Overnight Separations consists of Emergency Procedures, while the majority of Same-Day Separations consists of Elective Procedures. Since the bulk of Emergency Procedures are performed in Public Hospitals, this data suggests that the demands on Emergency Departments may not be overly exacerbated by an ageing population, but rather more influenced by overall population growth. Private Hospitals appear more directly exposed to growing demand from an ageing population, which has important implications for funders and operators.
Ben MacNevin is an Analyst with Montgomery Investment Management. To invest with Montgomery domestically and globally, find out more.
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