4363.0 - National Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2017-18  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2019   
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Geographic classifications

Data from the 2017-18 NHS can be output according to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), July 2016.

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 2016.

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 2016 (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 regions and are approximated by Mesh Blocks, Statistical Area Level 1 or Statistical Area Level 2. 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 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 2016 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. For the 2017-18 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.

Comparability with 2014-15

2017-18 NHS items output to the ASGS are comparable to output from the 2014-15 NHS.