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4704.0 - The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Oct 2010  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/02/2011  Final
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Contents >> Access to health and community services >> Community facilities and services


ACCESS TO HEALTH AND COMMUNITY SERVICES: COMMUNITY FACILITIES AND SERVICES
This article is part of a comprehensive series released as The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

KEY MESSAGES

The majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households could locally access a range of medical and hospital services when needed. Nationally, in 2008:
  • 62% of households could access Aboriginal health care services
  • 74% could access hospitals (63% in remote areas)
  • 82% could access health/medical clinics (69% in remote areas)
  • 84% could access pharmacies/chemists (50% in remote areas).
Beyond health services, there were similar levels of availability of community facilities and services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households nationally. Services and facilities that were less likely to be locally available when needed included:
  • emergency services — not available for 20% of households
  • police stations — not available for 17% of households
  • school bus service — not available for 17% of households nationally and 39% of households in remote areas.

This topic presents the latest data from the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) on community facilities and services available locally (i.e. in the local suburb, town or community) to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households when needed.

Nationally, the majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households could locally access a range of medical and hospital services when needed (table 1.1). While the availability of Aboriginal health care services was similar across remoteness areas (62% of households nationally could access these services locally), other medical services were less likely to be locally available when needed in remote areas. These included hospitals (63% of households in remote areas compared with 74% of households nationally), other health/medical clinics (69% in remote areas compared with 82% nationally) and pharmacies/chemists (50% in remote areas compared with 84% nationally).

For most other community facilities, there were similar levels of availability across remoteness areas (table 1.1). Services and facilities that were less likely to be locally available when needed included:
  • emergency services — not available for 20% of households
  • police stations — not available for 17% of households
  • school bus service — not available for 17% of households nationally and 39% of households in remote areas
  • taxi services — not available for 20% nationally and 49% in remote areas
  • swimming pools — not available for 22% nationally and 36% in remote areas.

1.1 COMMUNITY FACILITIES AVAILABLE LOCALLY WHEN NEEDED(a), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander households by remoteness—2008

Major cites
Regional
Remote
Total

%
%
%
%
Medical services
Aboriginal health care service
(b)59.6
62.7
(b)62.7
61.5
Hospital
77.1
75.8
63.4
74.2
Any other health or medical clinic
88.5
82.1
69.0
82.3
Pharmacy/chemist
95.1
87.0
50.1
83.8
Sporting and recreation facilities
Outdoor playing fields and play areas
(b)95.7
94.3
(b)90.7
94.2
Swimming pool
82.0
80.6
63.5
78.2
Indoor sports centre for games
77.1
76.4
58.9
73.7
Other services and community facilities
Community hall/centre
(b)82.9
89.3
(b)75.5
84.5
Schools
(b)95.4
92.7
(b)92.5
93.7
Supermarket/shop with fresh food
(b)95.5
93.1
(b)91.1
93.6
Petrol station
95.0
93.3
84.9
92.5
Police station
(b)80.2
86.8
(b)80.2
83.2
Emergency service
(b)80.5
79.9
(b)80.7
80.3
School bus service
84.6
90.7
61.0
83.4
Taxi service
90.1
81.5
50.8
79.5
All households (no.)
72 579
88 086
32 756
193 421

(a) Available at the suburb, town, or community level.
(b) Difference between Major cities and Remote is not statistically significant.
Source: 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey. These estimates are also available for download from Access to Heath and Community Services datacube.


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