On average, Australians living in rural and remote areas have shorter lives, higher levels of disease and injury and poorer access to and use of health services, compared with people living in metropolitan areas. Poorer health outcomes in rural and remote areas may be due to multiple factors including lifestyle differences and a level of disadvantage related to education and employment opportunities, as well as access to health services.

More reports and statistics on rural & remote Australians can be found under Social determinants, Risk factors, Chronic disease, Hospitals and Burden of Disease.

Latest findings

Hospitalisations have risen 3.8% on average per year between 2013–14 and 2017–18 Risk factors contributing the most burden were tobacco use, overweight and obesity, and dietary risks Remote and very remote areas experienced burden 1.4 times higher than Major cities In 2015–2017, life expectancy for both males and females decreased as remoteness increased In 2017–18, potentially preventable hospitalisation rates in Very remote areas were 2.5 times as high as Major cities Australians suffered more burden from living with illness (50.4% of total burden) than from premature death (49.6%) People aged 65 and over accounted for 42% of hospitalisations There were 11.3 million hospitalisations in 2017–18—60% of these occurred in public hospitals 38% of the burden of disease was preventable, being due to the modifiable risk factors included in this study Indigenous Australians were hospitalised at 2.6 times the rate for other Australians Cancer and cardiovascular diseases were the 2 most burdensome disease groups in 2015 In 2015, the total disease burden rate in Remote and very remote areas was 1.4 times as high as Major cities In 2016, people in Remote areas were more likely to report barriers accessing GPs and specialists than Major cities 4.8 million years of healthy life lost in 2015, equivalent to 199 DALY per 1,000 people About 2.0% of hospitalisations experienced a potentially preventable complication 11% reduction in total burden between 2003 and 2015 96,000 hospitalisations had a health care associated infection 25% of hospitalisations in 2017–18 involved surgery

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