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    PDF: Ambulatory-equivalent mental health-related care- public hospitals section (223KB)
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    Ambulatory-equivalent mental health-related admitted patient care-public hospitals tables (415KB XLS)
    Tables (415KB XLS)

    Ambulatory-equivalent mental health-related care is provided to patients in hospital and is broadly comparable to that which could be provided by community mental health care services. These hospitalisations do not involve an overnight stay and, if any mental health-related procedure is recorded, it is one that could have been provided in an ambulatory setting. This type of care may occur with or without specialised psychiatric care. The care can be provided in a public acute, public psychiatric or private hospital (see Mental health care facilities key concepts section for hospital types).

    The data presented in this section are from the National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD) and cover ambulatory-equivalent separations reported from public acute and public psychiatric hospitals in Australia. Private hospital activity is presented separately in the section titled 'Ambulatory-equivalent mental health-related admitted patient care-private hospitals'. More detailed information on public data sources and private hospital data sources are available at the end of respective sections.

    Due to the small number of reported ambulatory-equivalent separations from public psychiatric hospitals, these separations have been combined with public acute hospitals for reporting in this section. Where possible, a distinction is made between separations with and without specialised psychiatric care.

    Data for the Australian Capital Territory were not available for the 2014–15 reporting period. See the footnotes in each of the tables for details about the calculation of national rates.


    Key points

    • In 2014–15, there were about 28,500 ambulatory-equivalent mental health-related separations in public acute and public psychiatric hospitals, accounting for 1 in 200 (0.5%) public hospital separations.
    • Specialised psychiatric care was provided for about one-third (31.4%) of ambulatory-equivalent separations in public hospitals; the majority (68.6%) were separations without specialised psychiatric care.
    • The largest number and highest rate of ambulatory-equivalent separations with specialised care were for patients aged 65 years and older.
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people accounted for 1 in 9 (11.6%) ambulatory-equivalent separations without specialised mental healthcare, at a rate of 5 times that of other Australians.
    • Other anxiety disorders was the most common principal diagnoses recorded for ambulatory-equivalent separations with specialised care (17.9%) followed by Depressive episode (14.5%).
    • Mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol was the most common diagnosis for ambulatory-equivalent separations without specialised care (36.7%) followed by Other anxiety disorders (12.0%).

    Data in this section were last updated in October 2016


    In 2014–15, there were approximately 6.0 million separations reported from Australian public hospitals (AIHW 2016) of which 28,489 were ambulatory-equivalent mental health-related separations in public acute and public psychiatric hospitals (0.5%). Specialised psychiatric care was provided for about one-third (31.4%) of ambulatory-equivalent separations in public hospitals; the majority (68.6%) were separations without specialised psychiatric care.

    Nationally, the rate of ambulatory-equivalent mental health-related separations in public hospitals was 12.2 per 10,000 population. The Northern Territory had the highest rate (30.1 per 10,000 population) and Tasmania the lowest (4.7) (Table AMB.1).


    Reference

    AIHW 2016. Admitted patient care 2014–15: Australian hospital statistics. Health services series no. 68. Cat. no. HSE 172. Canberra: AIHW.

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