Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Indigenous health checks and follow-ups, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 06 July 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). Indigenous health checks and follow-ups. Retrieved from https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/indigenous-australians/indigenous-health-checks-follow-ups
Indigenous health checks and follow-ups. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 02 July 2021, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/indigenous-australians/indigenous-health-checks-follow-ups
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Indigenous health checks and follow-ups [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021 [cited 2022 Jul. 6]. Available from: https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/indigenous-australians/indigenous-health-checks-follow-ups
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2021, Indigenous health checks and follow-ups, viewed 6 July 2022, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/indigenous-australians/indigenous-health-checks-follow-ups
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Figure 15 shows the number and proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who received an Indigenous-specific follow-up within 12 months of a health check, by 5 different geographic classifications—state/territory, remoteness area, Primary Health Network (PHN), Indigenous Region (IREG) and Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3s). See Box 2 for more information about the geographic classifications.
This analysis is based on the postcode of the patient’s mailing address. As a result, the data may not reflect where the person actually lived—particularly for people who use PO Box addresses. This is likely to impact some areas more than others, and will also have a generally greater impact on the SA3 data than the larger geographic classifications. See Box 5 in Data sources and notes for information on areas most likely to be affected.
Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had an Indigenous-specific health check in 2018–19:
Maps and bar graphs showing the number and proportion of Indigenous-specific health check patients in 2018–19 who had an Indigenous-specific follow-up within 12 months of their Indigenous-specific health check, by state and territory, remoteness, PHN, Indigenous Region, and SA3.
In 2018–19, across states and territories, the Northern Territory had the highest rate of Indigenous-specific follow-up (with 61% of the Indigenous population receiving an Indigenous-specific follow-up within 12 month of their Indigenous-specific health check), followed by Queensland (53%). Australian Capital Territory had the lowest rate (16%). PHNs, Indigenous Regions, and SA3s are coloured by ‘Metropolitan status’, which just distinguishes areas by how much of the population lived in Major Urban areas (cities of 100,000 or more) in 2016.
Refer to tables ‘FS05’ to ‘FS09’ in data tables.
Reasons for variation between regions could be partly related to variation in the general health and need for follow-up care among different population groups (see also Box 4). However, there are likely also other contributing factors.
Research indicates that a broad range of factors can limit the use of Indigenous-specific follow-up services, such as a practitioners’ lack of awareness of item numbers; staffing issues; ineffective use of clinical information systems (e.g. for patient recall and reminders); communication and transport challenges for patients; and billing against non-Indigenous-specific items (Bailie et al. 2014). Also, some types of follow-up care cannot be billed to Medicare. For example, group services may offer increased cultural safety and improve the likelihood of patients attending follow-up care; however, patients cannot access rebates for some allied health services provided in a group setting (Department of Health 2018).
Bailie J, Schierhout GH, Kelaher MA, Laycock AF, Percival NA, O’Donoghue LR et al. 2014. Follow-up of Indigenous-specific health assessments—a socioecological analysis. Medical Journal of Australia 200: 653–657.
Department of Health 2018. Report from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Reference Group. Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce. Canberra: Department of Health. Viewed 16 May 2019.
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