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Newsletters - Health Statistics News - No 44, September 2000



2001 National Health Survey

The first of a new series of 3 yearly National Health Surveys will be conducted over the period February to December 2001. The survey, which will cover a national sample of about 20,800 adults and 10,300 children, will provide national estimates and broad level indicators for States. An additional sample of Indigenous people will be included in the survey sufficient to support national estimates for the Indigenous population, and enable comparisons between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations for selected health characteristics.

Development of the survey is now well advanced, with final field testing conducted in Melbourne in October.

A list of topics proposed for the survey is available from the previous issue of this newsletter, which is available at, then click on News; Newsletters; then Health Statistics News.

Results of the survey will be available from September 2002.

For further information:
Contact: Mike Langan (02) 6252 6403

Private hospitals: Detailed Tables

Following the publication in June 2000 of Private hospitals, Australia, 1998-99 (Catalogue No. 4390.0), two series of detailed tables were released on 28 August. One provides 29 tables about private acute and psychiatric hospitals and the other provides 18 tables about free-standing day hospital facilities. These tables provide greater detail than was published. For example, some classifications have additional categories, some tables have extra dimensions of classification and additional characteristics have also been tabulated. The price for Series One is $415 and the price for Series Two is $170. They are available in hard copy, on floppy disk or can be sent electronically.

The unpublished series of tables complement the publication and extend the knowledge available about private hospitals in Australia.

Most of the tables break down private hospital data by State and Territory. They show a wide range of information including:

  • Types of patients (surgical, medical, etc.)
  • Types of procedures performed (advanced surgical, obstetric, etc.)
  • Specialised wards and units (intensive, coronary, etc.)
  • Staffing numbers and turnover
  • Annual expenditure on salaries
  • Medicaments, food and several other items
  • Capital expenditure categories
  • Consumer related issues
  • Morbidity data (including age, sex, principal condition treated and principal procedure performed)
  • Most commonly performed procedures (day hospitals)

For further information:
Contact: Keith Carter (07) 3222 6374

Caring in the Community

On 23 August the ABS released the publication Caring in the Community (Cat. no. 4436.0). This publication provides information on informal care from the 1998 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, and is valuable for researchers in the fields of caring, disability and related community services. Topics included are need for, receipt and provision of assistance because of disability; characteristics of carers, and in particular primary carers; activities for which care is provided; the effects of caring on family relationships, labour force experience and other aspects of the lives of primary carers; physical and emotional well-being of primary carers and need and use of respite care.

The publication is priced at $22.00 and is available from ABS Bookshops. The main findings of this publication can be found on the Disability, Ageing and Caring Theme Page at http// Click on Themes then Families, Children and Older People.

For further information :
Contact: Ken Black (02) 6252 7430

Disability and Long Term Health Conditions

A publication providing information on disability and long-term health conditions from the 1998 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers is scheduled for release on 27 October. Disability and Long Term Health Conditions, 1998 (Cat. No. 4433.0) contains national statistics on people with disabilities and on people with common long term health conditions.

A section on children includes information on selected long-term health conditions: asthma, attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), intellectual/ developmental disorders and speech difficulties and hearing loss by disability status, types of education restrictions and activities for which assistance is needed. There are also sections on disability and long term conditions of working age people 15-64 years and people aged 65 and over.

For further information:
Contact: Ken Black (02) 6252 7430

Economic Wellbeing in Tasmania

The Health and Well-being Outcomes Unit of the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has recently completed a profile of economic well-being in Tasmania, with support from the ABS.

In 1998 a DHHS survey of 25,000 Tasmanians asked about a broad range of issues including health, quality of life, and various measures of financial capacity. Data from this survey was used to construct an index of economic wellbeing. The index allows analysts to easily identify demographic and geographic groups that are experiencing low, medium and high levels of economic wellbeing. In addition, the index has been used to examine the relationship between economic wellbeing and various aspects of human functioning such as health status and social participation.

Variables included in the index focused on economic capacity and were selected on the basis that they measured how people achieve a certain standard of living based on the rights and opportunities available to them. The index has also proved a useful tool for identifying those indicators that best account for economic wellbeing, as well as confirming the strong link between economic wellbeing and health status. Analysis of the index shows many regional and group variations making the index a powerful tool in policy formulation and service provision.

For further information:
Contact: Jeanette Lewis (03) 6233 4713

Australian Social Trends

The Year 2000 edition of Australian Social Trends (Cat. No. 4102.0) was released on the 4th of July 2000. This seventh annual edition contains 30 articles covering a range of social issues. The articles are grouped into seven main areas of social concern; population, family, health, education, work, income and expenditure, and housing.

This year's health section contains four articles which discuss suicide, accidental drowning, smoking trends and cancer screening. The Suicide article discusses trends in suicide since 1921 and investigates characteristics, such as age and sex, of those who took their own lives. Accidental drowning describes the age and sex of victims and the location, cause and circumstances surrounding accidental drownings in Australia. Trends in smoking examines changes in smoking habits since 1977 and smoking prevalence and quit ratios of people according to characteristics such as age, sex and labour force and marital status. Cancer screening discusses risk factors, death rates and the proportion of women who have been screened for breast and cervical cancer.

Aside from the articles specifically relating to health issues, many other articles refer to the health status of specific populations, such as; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and people without partners, as well as looking at formal respite care and students with disabilities.

Each chapter is supported by state and national summary tables. Indicators such as life expectancy, cause of death, health risk factors and the expenditure on and use of health services are included in the health chapter summary tables. There is also a selection of international comparisons, which cover health status, causes of death, and health services and expenditure.

For further information:
Contact: Denise Carlton (02) 6252 7187

General Social Survey

The ABS is conducting a General Social Survey (GSS) 3 yearly, beginning in 2002. This will provide insight into the living standards that families achieve from the range of human and economic resources at their disposal and allow for an assessment of the various dimensions of social advantage and disadvantage. It will also allow for the relationship between health status and health outcomes, and various social and economic determinants to be explored.

A GSS with such broad content cannot provide in depth information about a particular field to support detailed policy analysis - that would be the function of special social surveys (SSSs) such as the National Health Survey. However, the aim will be to have some overlap and consistency between question sets in the GSS and the more detailed SSSs to enable statistical links to be made. Health items currently proposed for inclusion are; self assessed health status, mental health status, disability status, smoking and exercise.

For further information:
Contact: Catriona Bate (02) 6252 7647

Indigenous Health Statistics

The ABS collects a wide range of statistical information on Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population across most areas of social concern. Health topics are included in the Community Housing and Infrastructure Needs Survey (CHINS), the National Health Survey Indigenous (NHS(I)) and the Indigenous Social Survey (ISS).

The first CHINS was conducted in August and September 1999 and results released in April 2000 in the publication, Housing and Infrastructure in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, Australia 1999 (Cat. no. 4710.0). CHINS includes information on access to health facilities: hospitals, health clinics, chemists or dispensaries, first aid boxes, and air emergency services. CHINS also collected information on the frequency of access to health professionals, the frequency of health promotion programs, length of time health professionals worked in community, and type of training courses attended by Indigenous health workers in the community.

CHINS will be conducted every five years from 2001, to coincide with the population Census. Aligning CHINS with the Census will give users greater analytical power and reduce the respondent burden on the communities.

Indigenous health statistics from the 2001 National Health Survey (NHS) are expected to be available from October 2002 in the form of a publication, which will present selected data on the health of the Indigenous population of Australia at the national level. Equivalent data for the non-Indigenous population of Australia will also be presented for comparison of results. The NHS(I), scheduled for 2004, will have a larger sample size, sufficient to produce state as well as national estimates.

Indigenous health information will also be released in 2003, from the 2002 Indigenous Social Survey (ISS). Content for the ISS has not been finalised, but it is expected the health information will be similar to that collected in the General Social Survey with some additional information on specific Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues. More details on the ISS content will be provided in a forthcoming issue of this newsletter.

For further information:
Contact: Borka Buseska (02) 6252 6969

About This Newsletter

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 Health Statistics Newsletter mailing list, or you would like to receive additional copies of the newsletter, please contact Darren Viskovich at the address shown below and provide your address details and the number of copies requested.

The Health Statistics Newsletter can also be sent to you electronically if you require. If you would like a electronic copy of the Newsletter please forward your email address to Darren Viskovich at the address shown below.

Health Statistics News is also now available on the ABS Internet Home Page at:
then click on
Health Statistics News

Published by:

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Health Section
PO Box 10

Contact: Darren Viskovich
Ph: (02) 6252 6308
Fax: (02) 6252 8007

PUBLICATIONS RELEASED (April-September 2000)

4102.0: Australian Social Trends, 2000 ($42.00)
4103.0: Population Survey Monitor, February 2000 ($17.50)
4103.0: Population Survey Monitor, May 2000 (($17.50)
4119.0.00.001: Australia's Children, 1998-99 ($1.10)
4158.0: Directory of Child and Family Statistics, 2000 ($30.00)
4390.0: Private Hospitals, Australia, 1998-99 ($18.50)
4390.0.15.001: Private Health Establishments: Acute and Psychiatric Hospitals Data Report on Floppy Disk, 1998-99, Floppy Disk (DOS) ($415.00)
4390.0.15.002: Private Health Establishments: Free Standing Day Hospital Facilities Data Report on Floppy Disk, 1998-99, Floppy Disk (DOS) ($170.00)
4390.0.40.001: Private Health Establishments: Acute and Psychiatric Hospitals Data Report on Hardcopy, 1998-99, Data Report Hardcopy ($415.00)
4390.0.40.002: Private Health Establishments: Free Standing Day Hospitals Facilities Data Report on Hardcopy, 1998-99, Data Report Hardcopy ($170.00)
4433.3: Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings ($21.00)
4436.0: Caring in the Community, Australia, Australia ($22.00)
4710.0: Housing and Infrastructure in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities, Australia, 1999 ($24.00)
4711.0: Occasional Paper: Hospital Statistics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 1997-98 ($23.00)

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

Canberra:(02) 6252 6627
Sydney:(02) 9268 4611
Melbourne:(03) 9615 7755
Brisbane:(07) 3222 6351
Perth:(08) 9360 5140
Adelaide:(08) 8237 7400
Hobart:(03) 6222 5800
Darwin:(08) 8943 2111
National Mail Order Service
(02) 6252 5249 or
Subscription Service 1300 366 323

Commonwealth of Australia 2008

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