4727.0.55.001 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: First Results, Australia, 2012-13  
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Contents >> Health-related actions >> Consultations with health professionals

CONSULTATIONS WITH HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

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

Data presented are for consultations with general practitioners and specialists, other health professionals and dental professionals.


RESULTS FROM 2012–13

In 2012–13, just over one in five (22%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had consulted a general practitioner (GP) or specialist in the two weeks before the survey, About the same proportion (19%) had visited a health professional (other than a GP or specialist) and one in twenty (5%) had visited a dental professional.

Within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, the likelihood of a person having consulted a GP or specialist generally increased with age, ranging from one in six (16%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0–14 years to around two in five (38%) of those aged 55 years and over. The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had visited other health professionals followed a similar pattern, ranging from one in eight (12%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0–14 years to over one-quarter (28%) of those aged 45–54 years. Between 4–6% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had consulted a dental professional in the two weeks before the survey, across all age groups.

VISITS TO HEALTH PROFESSIONALS IN LAST WEEK, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—2012–13
Graph: Health Professionals in Last Week

In the two weeks before the survey, similar proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in non-remote and remote areas had consulted a GP or specialist (22% and 20% respectively), had visited other health professionals (18% compared with 21%) and/or had consulted a dental professional (4% compared with 6%).


CHANGE OVER TIME

Between 2001 and 2012–13, there was a statistically significant increase in the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had seen a health professional (other than a GP or specialist) in the previous two weeks (from 16% to 19%). Over the same decade, the rates for consultations with GP/specialist and dental professionals have remained largely unchanged.


HOW DO THESE RATES COMPARE WITH THE RATES FOR NON-INDIGENOUS PEOPLE?

Due to methodological differences between the 2012–13 Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey and the 2011–13 Australian Health Survey, there are no directly comparable data for consultations with health professionals.

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