4363.0 - National Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2014-15  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/07/2017   
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Data from the 2014-15 NHS can be output according to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), July 2011.

Note there are limits to the extent to which survey data can be compiled for detailed geographies, particularly those with smaller populations such as Primary Health Networks (PHNs). The ability of the survey to provide reliable estimates for these areas is dependent upon factors such as the number of persons sampled within a particular area and the level of disaggregation required (that is, the number of variables cross-classified/level of detail required for each variable).

Australian Statistical Geography Standard

The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) brings all the regions for which the ABS publishes statistics within the one framework and is intended for use by the ABS for the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics from 1 July 2011.

The ASGS represents a comprehensive, flexible and consistent way of defining Australia's statistical geography and provides a common framework of statistical geography used by the ABS to enable the publication of statistics that are comparable and spatially integrated.

See Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Areas, July 2011 (cat. 1270.0.55.001) for more information.

Classification structures

The ASGS classification structures are split into two broads groups, the ABS Structures and the Non-ABS Structures.

The ABS Structures are six interrelated hierarchies of regions defined and maintained by the ABS. They are:

    • Main Structure
    • Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA)
    • Significant Urban Area (SUA)
    • Indigenous Structure
    • Urban Centre and Locality/Section of State (UCL/SOS)
    • Remoteness Structure.

The Non-ABS Structures are eight hierarchies of regions which are not defined or maintained by the ABS, but for which the ABS is committed to providing a range of statistics. They generally represent administrative units such as Postcode and Local Government Areas. They are:
    • Local Government Areas (LGAs)
    • Postal Areas (POAs)
    • State Suburbs (SSCs)
    • Australian Drainage Divisions (ADDs)
    • Natural Resource Management Regions (NRMRs)
    • Commonwealth Electoral Divisions (CEDs)
    • State Electoral Divisions (SEDs)
    • Tourism Regions (TRs).

In general data from the 2014-15 NHS can be output for the following geographic areas based on the ASGS:
    • Australia and state/territory
    • Capital City/Balance of State
    • Section of State
    • Remoteness.

Primary Health Networks (PHN)

PHNs have not been incorporated into the Non-ABS Structures of the 2011 ASGS. There are 31 PHNs which each represent a geographical area. The PHNs are independent organisations with regions closely aligned with state and territory Local Hospital Networks or equivalent. The PHNs are designed to integrate and coordinate health services and have the overarching objectives of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services and improve coordination of care. The PHNs began operation on 1 July 2015 replacing the 61 Medicare Local regions. For the 2014-15 NHS, SA1s have been allocated between the 31 PHNs across Australia on a proportional basis. More information on Primary Health Networks can be found at http://www.health.gov.au/PHN.
Medicare Locals

Medicare Locals (MLs) have not been incorporated into the Non-ABS Structures of the 2011 ASGS. These public health geographic areas were developed by the Australian Government for reporting purposes of the National Health Reform Performance and Accountability Framework. For the 2014-15 NHS, SA1s have been allocated between the 61 Medicare Locals across Australia. For analysis purposes, these MLs have been be grouped into seven peer groups by the National Health Performance Authority (in conjunction with the ABS). Each peer group contains MLs with populations of similar remoteness and socioeconomic status to allow for more appropriate comparisons to be made. More information on Medical Locals can be found at www.medicarelocals.gov.au, or, for peer group design information, at www.nhpa.gov.au

Proximity to Greenspace

The Proximity to Greenspace is calculated for all population within urban areas. A yes/no flag indicates those within/not within a straight line distance of 400 meters of Greenspace. The definition of public ‘Greenspace’ is a combination of PSMA Australia Urban Parks (2009) and National Parks (2011) within the Australian Statistical Geography Standard Urban Centres and Localities (UCL 2011).

It is acknowledged that in many cases a straight line distance of 400m may require a person to walk significantly further than this by a road to reach an area of Greenspace.

Comparability with 2011-12

The Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) was used from 1984 to 2011 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for the collection and dissemination of geographically classified statistics. The ASGC provided a common framework of statistical geography which enabled the production of statistics that were comparable and could be spatially integrated.

The 2011 edition of the ASGC was the last. From 2011 onwards the ABS has adopted a new statistical geography classification called the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).

For this reason, the 2014-15 NHS does not output against the ASGC 2006 and so the 11-12 NHS and AHS items output to this classification cannot be compared to the 2014-15 NHS.