Demand for hospital services continues to be driven by Australia's ageing population, technological change and rising household incomes.
Melbourne, Australia (PRWEB) July 08, 2013
Hospitals occupy an integral place in Australia's healthcare system, providing care for people with acute illness. The General Hospitals in Australia industry comprises about 85,400 beds in 1,335 hospitals, and is expected to generate revenue of $54.6 billion in 2013-14. This represents revenue growth of 3.7% from the previous year. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Arna Richardson, "Demand for hospital services continues to be driven by Australia's ageing population, the prevalence of chronic illness among adults, technological change in the services provided, and rising household incomes." Industry revenue is projected to increase at an annualised 4.7% in the five years through 2013-14.
The industry accounts for about one-third of the revenue generated by Australia's entire healthcare sector. There are currently about 3.9 hospital beds per thousand people in Australia, compared with 4.1 beds per thousand people in 1999-2000, and 6.1 beds per thousand people in 1983. Revenue growth over the next five years will be promoted by more admissions due to Australia's growing and ageing population. "An increase in hospital capabilities, such as advances in surgical techniques, medical devices, pharmacology and biotechnology, will also drive demand," says Richardson.
The level and source of government funding will remain of key importance as will regulatory reform. Government funding and efficiencies are to become more transparent. New healthcare reforms are aimed at addressing a range of long-term challenges in the Health Care and Social Assistance division. These challenges involve access to services, the ageing of the population, the growing burden of chronic disease and treatment outside hospitals. They also include costs and inefficiencies generated by blame-shifting and cost-shifting within the publicly funded health system. Major players in the General Hospitals industry include the Victorian Department of Health, the New South Wales Ministry of Health, Queensland Health, the Metropolitan Health Service, and private operator Ramsay Health Care Limited. Market concentration is medium, but overall the industry is dominated by the health departments of the four largest states, which together account for a majority of hospital services provided by the industry.