Explanatory Text for PHN Profiles

Page last updated: 08 December 2015

Topographic maps

The topographic maps show natural and built features of PHNs, such as major roads, rivers, lakes and reservoirs, built-up areas, and national parks.

Australian Statistical Geography Standard – Remoteness Area (ASGS-RA) Classification

The Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) is the Australian Bureau of Statistics' standard geographical framework. The ASGS uses the latest residential population data from the 2011 Census to determine the five remoteness categories.

The ASGS came into effect from July 2011 and replaces the Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA), which was based on residential data from the 2006 Census. The ASGS-RA is used in conjunction with the MMM remoteness structure to better target health related resources in rural and remote Australia.

Monash Modified Model – Remoteness Area Classification

The Modified Monash Model (MMM) is a new classification system that better categorises metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas according to both geographical remoteness and town size. The system was developed to recognise the challenges in attracting health workers to more remote and smaller communities.

The MMM uses the ASGS-RA as a base, and further differentiates areas in Inner and Outer Regional Australia based on local town size.

Districts of Workforce Shortage for General Practitioners

A District of Workforce Shortage (DWS) is a geographical area in which the local population has less access to Medicare-subsidised medical services when compared to the national average. These areas are identified using the latest Medicare billing statistics (GP MBS FTE activity), which are updated on an annual basis to account for changes in the composition and geographic distribution of the Australian medical workforce, and the latest residential population estimates as provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

DWS classifications for general practice are provided for geographic areas that are referred to as Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) boundaries. SA2 boundaries are determined by the ABS as part of the ASGS. The Medicare billing statistics and ABS population data are used to develop a full-time equivalent (FTE) GP-to-population ratio for each SA2 which is then compared to a national average ratio. DWS determinations that are made as part of this system for general practice are updated annually.

Areas of Socio-Economic Disadvantage

Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) is a product developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) that ranks areas in Australia according to relative socio-economic advantage and disadvantage. The indexes are based on information from the five-yearly Census.

SEIFA 2011 is the latest version of this product and consists of four indexes:

  • The Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage (IRSD)
  • The Index of Relative Socio-Economic Advantage and Disadvantage (IRSAD)
  • The Index of Education and Occupation (IEO)
  • The Index of Economic Resources (IER).

The Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage focuses primarily on disadvantage, and is derived from Census variables like low income, low educational attainment, unemployment, and dwellings without motor vehicles.

The most disadvantaged (i.e. Decile 1) by ABS ASGS Statistical Area Level 1 (SA1) are identified in each of the maps for Areas of Socio-Economic Disadvantage.