Public hospitals charge a daily accommodation fee to long stay patients towards the cost of their care.  Fees are set under Commonwealth legislation.

Public hospital funding is reduced for long stay patients who no longer need acute hospital care.

A long stay patient is a person who:

  • has been in hospital for more than 35 days without a discharge period of more than 7 days
  • doesn’t have a current Acute Care Certificate
  • may be waiting for a placement in a nursing home
  • still requires a certain level of care.

The calculation of the 35 day period starts on date of admission. Fees apply from the 36th day.

Inpatients aren’t charged when they need acute care that they can only get in an acute hospital setting.  We'll assess your care requirements every day and we'll issue an Acute Care Certificate if you need one.

How are the fees charged?

Fees are charged if a patient is expected to remain in hospital for more than 35 days and doesn’t have an Acute Care Certificate.

A member of the treating team and/or a social worker will discuss this with you and/or your next of kin.

The long stay fee is indexed against the aged pension. Fee increases occur in line with pension increases. This is the same for self-funded retirees.

For more information on long stay charges, email our Accounts Receivable Team at

Last updated: March 2023