Key messages

  • All private hospitals and day procedure centres where the major activity is providing medical, surgical and/or speciality health services, are required to be registered with the department.
  • A private facility may need to meet other state and federal requirements.

It is a legal requirement in Victoria for proprietors to register a private hospital or day procedure centre (private health facility).

A private health facility needs to be registered before it can admit or treat patients. Registration can be applied for once the building works for a private health facility pass inspection by the Department of Health and Human Services.

There may be other requirements the private health facility has to meet.

Types of health services that must be registered

All private hospitals and day procedure centres where the major activity is providing medical, surgical and or speciality health services, are required to be registered with the department.

Medical health services

Medical health services are health services provided to a patient by a registered medical practitioner that:

  • involve diagnosis and non-operative treatment
  • require nursing supervision or care.

Surgical health services

Surgical health services are health services provided by a registered medical practitioner or a registered dentist that involve the use of surgical instruments; an operating theatre, procedure room or treatment room; require either:

  • attendance by one or more other registered health care practitioners or
  • post-operative observation by nursing staff.

A surgical instrument includes (but is not limited to), a laser device that disrupts the integrity of epithelial tissue or stroma, and cannulae used to penetrate subcutaneous tissue to remove either tissue or fluid, or both tissue and fluid containing body fat.

Speciality health services

Speciality health services are health services supervised by a specialist registered medical practitioner that include:

  • admitting the patient
  • using specialist equipment
  • a specific fit-out.

There are 13 categories of ‘speciality’ health services:

  • artificial insemination
  • assisted reproductive treatments
  • cardiac services
  • emergency medicine
  • endoscopy
  • intensive care
  • mental health services
  • neonatal services
  • obstetrics
  • oncology (chemotherapy)
  • oncology (radiation therapy)
  • renal dialysis
  • specialist rehabilitation services.

Whether or not there is a need to register

The department's Private Hospitals Unit can provide advice on whether an organisation should register or not. In Victoria it is an offence to operate an unregistered private health facility.

Additional requirements for private health facilities

In addition to registering a facility with the department, further requirements may need to be met. The Checklist of additional Department of Health regulatory requirements for new private hospitals and day procedure centres describes the extra permits that may be needed, or the extra regulations with which a facility’s design may have to comply.

The Victorian Government may require:

The Australian Government may require:

  • A declaration that a new facility is a hospital or day procedure centre in order to access private health insurance benefits, the Medicare Benefits Scheme, and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
  • Existing facilities must also obtain a declaration it is a hospital or day procedure centre in the following circumstance:
    • Change of existing hospitals or day procedure centres registered business name.
    • Change of existing hospital or day procedure centres address.
    • Amalgamation of existing hospitals or day procedure centres.

Information can be obtained from the Commonwealth Department of Health

Local councils may have additional requirements.

Application forms to apply for registration

All application forms and information regarding registration, variation of registration and renewal of registration of a private hospital or day procedure centre can be found on the applications and forms page. It is important to submit all the information and documents listed in each application checklist.