4329.0 - Characteristics of people using mental health services and prescription medication, 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/01/2016  First Issue
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Primary Health Networks

Data about the mental health-related subsidised medication and service usage at the Primary Health Network (PHN) level can be found on the Downloads tab of this publication. PHNs are based on the person's usual address on Census night, 2011.

PHNs are geographic administrative regions which were established in July 2015 by the Australian Government with the key objectives of:

  • increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes; and
  • to help improve the coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time (Endnote 14).

Details of the PHNs, including their geographic boundaries can be found at the PHN homepage.

Users of this regional data are advised to consider the following before using this data:
  • apparent variations in usage between PHNs may be due to a number of reasons:
    • MBS subsidised services may not be as readily available in some PHNs compared with others;
    • alternative sources of services may be preferred in some PHNs (e.g. community based treatment programs):
    • the characteristics of people living in particular PHNs vary, for example, higher medication and lower service use is associated with increasing age and this pattern may be reflected in PHNs with older age profiles.
  • data for PHNs with a significant proportion of the population in remote and/or very remote areas are not representative of the service and medication usage. Block funding of Aboriginal Medical Services and provision of drugs under options such as Section 100 of the National Health Act, 1953 lead to a gap in MBS and PBS data in these areas.
  • the linkage rates that were achieved for the MBS and PBS datasets were in line with expected results, and were relatively consistent across most sub-populations - the exceptions were the Northern Territory, Remote, Very Remote and younger adults which had lower linkage rates (see the Explanatory Notes for information on linkage rates).