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 >> Hospital visits and admissions

HOSPITAL VISITS AND ADMISSIONS

Medical facilities play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy society. People access medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics and emergency departments to detect and treat illness or injury. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people generally access casualty/outpatients departments of hospitals more often, and are more likely to be admitted to hospital, than non-Indigenous people. According to the 2003 Australian Burden of Disease Study, injuries (both intentional and unintentional) were the third leading broad cause of the total disease burden in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, accounting for 13% (Endnote 1).


RESULTS FROM 2012–13

Visits to casualty/outpatients/day clinics

In 2012–13, around one in twenty (6%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported having visited casualty/outpatients/day clinics in the two weeks before the survey.

Within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, the proportion of people accessing casualty/outpatients/day clinics ranged from 4% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0–14 years to 9% of those aged 55 years and over.

CASUALTY/OUTPATIENTS/DAY CLINICS IN LAST TWO WEEKS,
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—2012–13

Graph: Casualty or Outpatients or Day Clinics in last two weeks



In the two weeks before the survey, similar proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in non-remote and remote areas had visited casualty/outpatients/day clinics (6% and 5% respectively).

Hospital admissions

Around one in five (18%) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had been admitted to a hospital in the previous year.

Generally, the proportion of people being admitted to hospital increased with age. Within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, the proportions of people who had been admitted to hospital in the previous year ranged from 11% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0–14 years to 27% of those aged 55 years and over.

HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS IN LAST 12 MONTHS,
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—2012–13

Graph: Hospital Admissions in last 12 months


Similar proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in non-remote and remote areas had been admitted to hospital in the previous year (18% compared with 20%).


CHANGE OVER TIME

Visits to casualty/outpatients/day clinics

Between 2001 and 2012–13, the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had accessed casualty/outpatients/day clinics in the previous two weeks decreased significantly from 8% to 6%.

Hospital admissions

In 2001 and 2012–13, the proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had been admitted to hospital in the previous year were similar (19% and 18% respectively).


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 visits to casualty/outpatients/day clinics in the previous two weeks and hospital admissions in the previous year .
ENDNOTE

1. Vos T, Barker B, Stanley L, Lopez AD 2007. The Burden of Disease and Injury in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2003, School of Population Health, The University of Queensland, Brisbane.


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