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Public hospitals not meeting standard, report says

3 November 2011 - 5:25pm

A report from the national medical association has found that public hospitals around the country are failing to meet industry benchmarks.

The Australian Medical Association's (AMA) annual Public Hospital Report Card has found that the national standards outlined by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) are not being met by public hospitals in any state or territory.

"It is very much business as usual as public hospitals across the country are struggling to meet demand," AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said.

"They currently do not have the capacity to meet the demands of an ageing population that is also experiencing chronic conditions that inevitably require acute care."

Dr Hambleton also commented that the report card again indicated that there was a deterioration in the amount of care being delivered to Australian patients, despite additional federal funding.

While the demand for public hospital beds is failing to be met, private health insurance continues to offer policy holders with the option to avoid growing waiting lists by attending a private hospital.

According to the report, the number of public hospital beds nationally per capita continued to decline, with 2.6 public hospital beds per 1000 people available, down 3.5 per cent from 2008/09.