SA leads nation for number of public hospital beds

South Australia employs the largest workforce of full-time doctors and nurses, and has the most public hospital beds per capita, according to a national report published today.

SA Health Deputy Chief Executive Officer Lynne Cowan said the 2017 Report on Government Services provides comparative data between states and shows areas of progress and improvement.

“Each year the report provides a snapshot of how our health system is tracking against the rest of Australia,” Ms Cowan said.

“The report shows in 2014-15, South Australia had the highest health expenditure of all the states at $4,803 per person.

“We also had the most public hospital beds per head of population at 2.9 beds per 1,000 people, 12 per cent higher than the national average.

“At the same time, SA had the highest rate of employment for full-time medical professionals at 412.3 per 100,000 people, while our numbers of nurses and midwives was 1,385.3 per 100,000 people. These figures are both well above the national averages of 392.3 and 1,137.4 respectively.”

Ms Cowan said the report highlighted areas for continued improvement, such as reducing emergency department waiting times.

“Although 100 per cent of triage one patients were seen within the national clinically appropriate timeframes, we recorded longer overall waiting times than the national averages,” Ms Cowan said.

“This data further reinforces the need to transform our health system and we are committed to making improvements by focussing on patient flow, service accessibility and efficiencies throughout our hospitals.”

The report shows that South Australia excelled in a number of key areas, recording the highest rate of breast cancer screening in the country and the second highest rate of cervical cancer screening.

The state also ranks highest in the nation for availability of GPs in regional areas, while availability in city areas is the second highest.

“I thank our many medical professionals, doctors, nurses, midwives and specialists for their tireless work to continually improve health outcomes for all South Australians,” Ms Cowan added.

The Report on Government Services is available on the Productivity Commission website.

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