The Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW) reports that Victoria’s rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations are comparable with the Australian average, and that chronic disease is a key contributor.
Preventable hospitalisations are costly, expose patients to unnecessary risks and are very often not in line with patient desires regarding their health care. There were more than 600,000 potentially preventable hospitalisations in Australia in 2013-14, accounting for 6.2 per cent of all hospital admissions.
Chronic disease complications are a common cause of preventable hospitalisation, and strongly associated with suboptimal access to primary health care. Programs most likely to have an impact on reducing preventable hospitalisations are those that focus on chronic disease, and include early intervention, care coordination and multidisciplinary approaches, and the promotion of equity and access.