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Newsletters - Health Statistics News - No 40, June 1999



The ABS conducted surveys of selected allied health industries in respect of 1997-98. Results are currently being processed and the expected schedule of publication releases is:

  • Audiology and Audiometry Services - June 1999
  • Chiropractic and Osteopathic Services - August 1999
  • Physiotherapy Services - August 1999
  • Dental Services - September 1999
  • Optometry and Optical Dispensing Services - September 1999

Each publication will contain financial and employment data about the allied health businesses in each industry.

For most of these professions, information about the age and gender of the practitioners, and the number of consultations will also be published.

Main features of the publication Audiology and Audiometry Services, 1997-98 are available from this site.

Contact: Graham Boxsell (02) 6252 5633



The ABS has recently developed a draft Australian Standard Classification of Illicit Drugs and Other Substances of Concern. This classification has been developed in response to the increasing recognition of the economic, health and social impacts of both licit and illicit drug use in Australia.

It is intended that the classification will meet the growing statistical and administrative need for consistent methodologies for the collection and classification of drug related data in both the health and community and crime and justice sectors.

The classification is not intended to provide a comprehensive vehicle for the classification of all drugs. It is proposed that only those drugs or other substances that are of significant concern in the Australian context will be separately identified in the classification structure.

The draft classification structure and a background and issues paper which addresses the conceptual basis of the classification, the classification structure, and main issues for resolution are available upon request in either hardcopy or electronic format.

Contact: Cathy Williams (02) 6252 7996



The results of the 1997-98 annual Private Health Establishments Collection were released on 30 June, in the publication Private Hospitals, Australia, 1997-98 (Catalogue No. 4390.0). The publication provides information on the facilities, patients, staff and finances of all private acute and psychiatric hospitals and free-standing day hospitals in Australia. As the collection has been conducted since 1991-92, a seven year time series is now available, adding considerably to knowledge of the operation of private hospitals in Australia.

The publication reports that:

        • The number of free-standing day hospitals in Australia increased by 143% (from 72 to 175) over the seven year period 1991-92 to 1997-98

        • The number of acute and psychiatric hospitals changed little (from 319 to 317) over this period.

        • In 1997-98 there were:-
        • 23,091 beds available in private acute and psychiatric hospitals for overnight accommodation
        • 1,348 beds/chairs available in free-standing day hospitals for post-operative care.
Additionally, in the reference year, private hospitals:-

  • treated 1.9 million patients
  • employed nearly 43,000 staff
  • generated revenue of $3,662 million
  • spent $3,354 million for recurrent purposes
  • invested $403 million in buildings and other capital assets

This publication is available at ABS bookshops in all capital cities. Unpublished tables for 1997-98, providing detailed dissections for States, will be available in September 1999.

There are two series of tables:-
Series 1- Private acute and psychiatric hospitals. Cost: $385.
Series 2- Free-standing day hospital facilities. Cost: $160.

Information about public hospitals is contained in, Australian Hospital Statistics published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (Catalogue No. HSE 5).

Main features from the publication Private Hospitals, Australia, 1997-98 (Catalogue No. 4390.0) are available on this site.

Contact: Keith Carter 1800 806 415 or (07) 3222 6374



1995 National Health Survey: Indigenous Persons Output Development File (ABS Cat No 4324.0.30.001) is now available. This is a computer file, available on CD or disc, containing a sub-set of confidentialised Indigenous person records from the 1995 National Health Survey. The file is similar in content and format to the 1995 National Health Survey: Sample File (4324.0.55.001), but some fields have been omitted and the level of detail shown in some other fields has been reduced to protect the confidentiality of respondents.

This file is intended to enable users to manipulate the data, decide on their output requirements, and prepare and test computer code to produce that output. On request, the ABS will run that code against the complete weighted Indigenous persons file from the survey maintained by the ABS, and output will be returned to the user. The file is available subject to the approval of the Australian Statistician. On approval, the file will be supplied free of charge; ABS will charge on a fee for service basis for all work in generating output from the complete Indigenous persons file.

Contact: Mike Langan ( 02) 6252 6403



The Review of the ABS Household Survey Program has entered its final stages with the release in May of a report on the review. This report reflected comments received on the earlier Working Paper, and further consultations with key users. A final report will be presented to the Australian Statistics Advisory Council in July.

The report presents 3 options for a future survey program, based on different levels of funding being available. Under all options, the program of health related surveys proposed includes:

  • a health survey, conducted at two or three year intervals,
  • a six yearly disability survey, and
  • a six yearly child health and wellbeing survey.

The program also includes a three yearly General Social Survey (with supplementation of the sample of Indigenous people every six years) which would contain a health component, and a three yearly multi-purpose survey.

In regard to health surveys, it was found that the conduct of smaller surveys (in sample and in content) more often would better meet data needs than the previous model of a very large survey conducted less frequently. The first survey in this new series will be conducted in 2001. Planning for that survey is still in the early stages, but topics under consideration for inclusion are:

  • health status indicators, including disability, long-term conditions, mental health indicators, and injuries,
  • health related actions, including non-inpatient hospital visits, consultations with doctors, dentists, other health professionals, days away from work/school, other days of reduced activity, access to/use of primary health care, health care cards/private health insurance, and
  • health risk factors, including smoking, alcohol consumption, other substance abuse, exercise, body mass, dietary indicators and breast and cervical cancer screening practices.

Subject to funding, the sample of Indigenous people will be increased to a level to support estimates for most States and national regions.

For a copy of the report on the Household Survey Review, or further information about the proposed 2001 Health Survey, please contact Mike Langan as shown below.

Contact: Mike Langan (02) 6252 6403



On 24 June 1999 the ABS released this year's edition of Australian Social Trends (ABS Catalogue No. 4102.0). This 200 page publication consists of 31 reviews, each drawing on ABS statistics to address a wide range of topics about the well being of Australians and how we are set for on-going social change into the next century. Information in the publication is organised into chapters, each representing a major area of social concern comprising population, family, health, education, work, income and expenditure, and housing. In this International Year of Older Persons, many of these reviews address issues relevant to older Australians.

While some of the articles in other chapters may refer to the health status of certain population groups, specific issues are addressed in the Health chapter. This year, the Health chapter comprises four reviews which incorporate data from the Causes of Death collection, the 1989-90 and 1995 National Health Surveys, the 1997 Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, the 1998 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, and the 1995 Children's Immunisation Survey.

Health of older people discusses mortality trends, causes of death, self-assessed health status, recent and long-term conditions, health risk factors, recent health actions and trends in disability. Health and socio-economic disadvantage of area outlines differences in health status and health behaviours according to socio-economic status of area. Asthma discusses prevalence in 1995, the actions people took because of their asthma, the relationship between smoking and asthma, and trends in mortality with asthma as the underlying cause of death. Mental Health examines the prevalence of the more common mental disorders, by sex and age, in 1997.

Australian Social Trends also includes summary tables for each area of social concern, illustrating the changes that have taken place over the last decade as well as providing international comparisons. National and State summary tables for the Health chapter present indicators relating to health status, selected causes of death, health risk factors, and usage and cost of health services.

A summary of topics in Australian Social Trends, 1999, is available on this site.

Contact: Glenice Taylor (02) 6252 6214



Health Statistics News is a quarterly publication from the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Health Section, Canberra, available to interested individuals or organisations. If you or your organisation would like to be placed on the mailing list, please contact Joanne Sims at the address shown below and provide your address details and the number of copies requested.

Published by:

Health Section
Australian Bureau of Statistics
PO Box 10
Belconnen ACT 2616

Phone: (02) 6252 7290
Fax: (02) 6252 8007

PUBLICATIONS RELEASED (April 1999 to June 1999)

3101.0 Australian Demographic Statistics, December Quarter 1998 ($19.50)

3227.4 Estimated Resident Population by Age and Sex in Statistical Local Areas, South Australia, 30 June 1998, Floppy disk (Dos) ($40.00)

3227.6 Estimated resident population by Age and Sex in Statistical Local Areas, Tasmania, 30 June 1998, Floppy disk (Dos) ($40.00)

3235.4 Population by Age and Sex, South Australia, 30 June 1998 ($17.50)

3235.6 Population by Age and Sex, Tasmania, 30 June 1998 ($16.50)

3401.0 Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, February 1999 ($16.50)

3401.0 Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, March 1999 ($16.50)

3401.0 Overseas Arrivals and Departures, Australia, April 1999 ($16.50)

4102.0 Australian Social Trends, 1999 ($39.00)

4103.0 Population Survey Monitor, February 1999 ($16.00)

4173.0 Time Use on Culture/Leisure Activities, 1997 ($2.00)

4221.0 Schools, Australia 1998 ($24.00)

4390.0 Private Hospitals, Australia, 1997-98 ($18.50)

4430.0 Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 1998 ($22.00)

4512.0 Corrective Services, Australia, December Quarter 1998 ($18.00)

4515.6 Community Safety, Tasmania, October 1998 ($16.00)

4501.0 Recorded Crime, Australia, 1998 ($28.00)

8554.0 Audiology and Audiometry Services, Australia, 1997-98 ($16.00)

These publications are available from ABS book shops in each capital city:

      (02) 6252 6627
    (08) 8237 7400
      (02) 9268 4611
    (03) 6222 5800
      (08) 8943 2111
    (03) 9615 7755
      (07) 3222 6351
    (08) 9360 5140

National Mail Order Service (02) 6252 5249 or Subscription Service 1300 366 323


Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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