A survey report showed that patients seeking treatment at Australian hospital increased at about 20 per cent than five years ago.

The latest State of Our Public Hospitals report was released yesterday by Health Minister Nicola Roxon.

The report posted a 4.9 million admissions to public hospitals and 3.3 million admissions to private hospitals in 2008-09.

It increased to 17 per cent from four million admissions to almost five million a year starting in 2004.

Emergency department also peaked at 22 per cent, from almost six million to seven million a year in the same period.

Expenditure for hospital admissions reached up to 14 per cent from $3,930 to $4,471 in 2008-09.

Elective surgery in public hospitals posted a 595,009 admissions, with an average waiting time of 34 days.

Ms.Roxon explained that majority of the people waited for their elective surgery procedures under Rudd government.

But ... this government's ambitious plan to treat more elective surgery patients and to treat them within clinically recommended times is delivering results, she said.

In public hospital emergency departments, 70 per cent of patients were seen within the time recommended for their triage category.

During 2008-09, available public hospital beds was at 56,478 or 67 per cent. The average is 2.5 beds for every 1000 people.