First Nations people data
The AIHW uses ‘First Nations people’ to refer to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in this report. The prevalence of disease among First Nations people is 2.3 times that of non-Indigenous Australians. Mental health and chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, diabetes and kidney disease are areas of particular concern (AIHW 2023e).
The health system’s response to this challenge involves a combination of private and public state and territory primary care providers and First Nations people-specific primary care providers. The establishment of PHNs in 2015 provided an opportunity to build connections across the health system to further improve access for First Nations people to appropriately targeted care that is effective and culturally appropriate (Department of Health 2016).
The 2020 National Agreement on Closing the Gap (DPMC 2020) is based on the partnership of governments and First Nations people working in and sharing decision-making to support better health and wellbeing outcomes for First Nations people (AIHW 2023e).
It has been acknowledged that significant numbers of First Nations people are being treated by mainstream practices and there is a recognised need for improvements in the rates of identification of First Nations clients at these practices (RACGP 2020e).
Figure 56 shows, as of July 2023, nationally, of the regular clients aged 15 years and over:
- 2.0% of clients were recorded in their GP record as First Nations people
- 75.2% of clients were recorded in their GP record as non-Indigenous people
- 22.9% of clients did not have a record of First Nations people status in their GP record.
Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) and other organisations funded under the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) do not submit data to this national PIP Eligible Data Set, and therefore are not represented within this report.
Figure 56: Proportion of regular clients with their First Nations people status recorded in their GP record, by PHN, July 2023
This stacked bar chart shows the proportion of regular clients with their First Nations people status recorded in their GP record, by PHN for July 2023
AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2023e) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework summary report, AIHW, Canberra, accessed 13 July 2023.
Department of Health (2016) Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations guiding principles, Department of Health, Canberra, accessed 1 August 2023.
DPMC (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) (2020) Closing the Gap In Partnership, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Canberra, accessed 2 August 2023.
RACGP (The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners) (2020e) Identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australian general practice, RACGP, East Melbourne, Victoria, accessed 13 July 2023.