4715.0 - National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey, 2018-19 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/12/2019   
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Use of health services


Regular monitoring of health may help prevent illness or injury. Consultations with health professionals can assist in many ways, including the treatment and management of short-term illnesses and injuries and long-term health conditions, monitoring lifestyle risk factors, and general maintenance of good health.

Consultations with general practitioners or specialists

A majority of people (86%) had seen a general practitioner (GP) or specialist in the last 12 months.

The proportion of people who had seen a GP or specialist was higher for:

    • people living in non-remote areas (87%) than remote areas (79%)
    • people with one or more selected chronic conditions (93%) [1] than for people with none (79%)
    • people with a disability or restrictive long-term health condition (94%) than for people with no disability (83%)
    • people aged 15 years and over with a non-school qualification (90%) than for those with no non-school qualification (82%).

There was no significant difference between children and adults — 84% for those aged 0–17 years and 87% for those aged 18 years and over.

More than one in 10 (13%) people said they had needed to see a GP in the last 12 months but had not gone to one on at least one occasion.
    • The proportion of people who did not see a GP when needed was higher for those living in non-remote areas (14%) than remote areas (8%).
    • The most common reasons for not going were too busy (33%) and decided to not seek care (28%).

Almost seven in 10 (68%) people living in remote areas usually saw a GP who was part of an Aboriginal Medical Service or community clinic, compared with almost three in 10 (29%) in non-remote areas.

Consultations with dentists or dental professionals

More than four in 10 (44%) people aged two years and over had seen a dentist or dental professional in the last 12 months.

The proportion of people who had seen a dentist or dental professional was:
    • about the same for people living in non-remote areas (44%) and remote areas (41%)
    • higher for children (57%) than adults (36%)
    • higher for people aged 15 years and over with a non-school qualification (41%) than for those with none (34%).

Hospital admissions

More than one in 10 (17%) people had been admitted to hospital in the last 12 months.

The proportion of people who had been admitted to hospital was:
    • higher for people living in remote areas (21%) than in non-remote areas (16%)
    • more than twice as high for people with one or more selected chronic conditions (24%) [1] compared with people with none (11%)
    • more than twice as high for people with a disability or restrictive long-term health condition (27%) compared with people with no disability (13%).


Footnote
1. Includes arthritis, asthma, back problems (dorsopathies), cancer (malignant neoplasms), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, heart, stroke and vascular disease, kidney disease, mental and behavioural conditions, and osteoporosis.