Online version of the 2012-13 Department of Health and Ageing Annual Report
We recognise and tackle the cause and impacts of health inequities through innovative, evidence based collaborative practices
Since 2011, Australian Government departments have been held accountable for their progress on social inclusion through reporting on strategic change indicators of social inclusion relevant to their portfolio in their annual reports. Strategic change indicators are short-term progress measures of potential progress in relevant areas of government policy and service delivery.
The Department reports against seven strategic change indicators on health risk factors for social inclusion and the outputs of government health and ageing programs designed to improve inclusion outcomes.
The indicators are reported by socio-economic status using Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA) and remoteness, subject to data availability. Not all data for the social change indicators can be expressed in the same categories.
Mortality rate is a summary measure of the overall health status of a population. Improvements rely not just on access to health services but on a range of factors including living conditions, and economic and social circumstances. This indicator will measure progress towards the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) target to close the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.
Notes: Rates are directly age-standardised using the 2001 Australian Estimated Resident population.
SEIFA and remoteness data not available.
Child mortality rate
The child (0-4 years) mortality rate is an important indicator of the health of pregnant women, newborns and children. Halving the gap in mortality rates for Indigenous children under five within a decade (that is, by 2018) is one of the COAG targets to reduce disadvantage among Indigenous Australians. Indigenous child mortality rates are currently within the range required to meet the target.
Note: SEIFA and remoteness data not available.
Obesity is a major risk factor for multiple chronic diseases which in turn are major causes of disability. There is a clear socio-economic gradient in obesity and its causes are exacerbated by social disadvantage and remoteness.
|All Australians||Total Rate||27.5%|
|Indigenous Australians||Total Rate||Data not yet available101|
|Index of Disadvantage||Quintile 1
|32.8%|| Quintile 5
|Remoteness of Residence||Major Cities||25.5%||Remote||33.9%|
Note: Data for adults (18 years and over) and is not age standardised.
Smoking is a major risk factor for multiple chronic diseases and is thus a major cause of disability and death. There is a clear socio-economic gradient in smoking prevalence and, its causes are exacerbated by social disadvantage and remoteness.
|All Australians||Total Rate||16.1%|
|Indigenous Australians||Total Rate||Data not yet available103|
|Index of Disadvantage|| Quintile 1
|Remoteness of Residence||Major Cities||14.7%||Outer Regional and Remote||22.4%|
Notes: Data for all Australians, index of disadvantage and remoteness of residence categories is for adults (18 years and over) and is not age standardised. The age standardised rate for all Australian adults (18 years and over) is 16.3%.
Very remote category has not been reported separately.
People deferring recommended treatment
Deferring recommended treatment increases the chances that a medical condition will deteriorate. Social disadvantage contributes to treatment deferral, particularly in relation to purchasing medications.
|Financial Barriers to use of service|
|General Practitioners||8.7%||Lowest Decile||7.5%||Highest Decile||5.6%|
|Specialists||9.4%||Lowest Decile||8.9%||Highest Decile||7.1%|
|Medications||9.6%||Lowest Decile||11.0%||Highest Decile||7.0%|
Notes: Data are not available for Indigenous Australians.
Very remote data were not collected in the 2010-11 Patient Experience Survey.
Data are for persons aged 15 years and over, and age standardised to the 2001 Estimated Resident Population.
Potentially preventable hospitalisations
Preventable hospitalisations can indicate that illness and treatment are poorly controlled and therefore more likely to impact on a person’s ability to participate in work and social life. Social disadvantage and remoteness are strongly associated with avoidable hospitalisations.
|Index of Disadvantage||Quintile 1||3,432.2||Quintile 5||2,111.3|
|(Most Disadvantaged)||(Least Disadvantaged)|
|Remoteness of Residence||Major Cities||2,600.2||Very Remote||6,430.2|
Treatment rates for mental illness
Increasing numbers of people have received treatment for mental illness. This may indicate improved access to services and better-targeted services, or higher rates of mental illness. However, the 2011-12 Budget initiatives, which span five years, aim to build the capacity of the mental health care system so that Australians with, or at risk of mental illness receive treatment. Improving mental health contributes towards engaging socially and participating in work.
|Proportion of people receiving clinical mental health services 2010-11|
|Aged standardised rate||Public||1.6%||Private||0.1%|
|Type of Service|
|Other Allied Health||2.2%|