Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are hospitalised due to injury at three times the rate of their non-Indigenous counterparts, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
The report, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Injury-Related Hospitalisations 1991-92 is the first of its kind on Indigenous injury statistics.
Author of the report, Mr Jerry Moller, said the results 'should be treated with caution' owing to difficulties with the data, but despite these limitations it was obvious that injury is 'an important public health issue for Indigenous peoples'.
Major findings of the report include:
Mr Moller said that to better understand the injury burden of Indigenous peoples, we need to identify Indigenous people more accurately, use culturally appropriate classifications, and obtain better data on Indigenous populations. In the short term though, he noted that 'existing data can be used to start setting prevention priorities until more accurate data are available'.
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