Online version of the 2012-13 Department of Health and Ageing Annual Report

Websites, Glossary, Acronyms

Page last updated: 29 October 2013

Aged Care Complaints Scheme

Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency

Australian Breastfeeding Association - National Breastfeeding Helpline

Australian Childhood Immunisation Register

Australian Dietary Guidelines 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, Adolescents and Children 2013

Australian Health Survey

Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods

Bowel Cancer Screening Program

BreastScreen Australia

Diabetes Care Project


Healthy Communities Initiative


My Aged Care

My Hospitals

National Cervical Screening Program

National Drug Strategy 2012-18

National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA)

National Health Services Directory

National HPV Vaccination Program

National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS)

National Mental Health Commission

National Tobacco Campaign – More Targeted Approach

Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR)

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Pharmacy Practice Incentive Program

Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC)

Rural and Regional Health Australia

Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)


Term Meaning
Acute Care Short-term medical treatment, usually in a hospital, for patients with an acute illness or injury, or recovering from surgery. Acute illness/injury is one that is severe in its effect or approaching crisis point, for example acute appendicitis.
Antenatal The period prior to birth.
Blood Borne Viruses Viruses that are transmitted through contact between infected blood and uninfected blood.
Cervical cancer A cancer of the cervix, often caused by human papillomavirus, which is a sexually transmissible infection.
Chemotherapy The treatment of disease by chemical agents, for example the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells.
Chronic Disease The term applied to a diverse group of diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis, that tend to be long-lasting and persistent in their symptoms or development. Although these features also apply to some communicable diseases (infections), the general term chronic diseases is usually confined to non-communicable diseases.
Closing the Gap COAG Closing the Gap initiatives designed to close the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.
Computed Tomography (CT) Scanning An imaging method that uses computer processing to generate an image of tissue density in a ‘slice’ through the body. The images are spaced at 5 to 10 mm intervals allowing an anatomical cross-section of the body to be constructed.
Communicable Disease Illnesses caused by microorganisms and transmitted from an infected person or animal to another person or animal.
Deliverables Tangible program products developed to meet program objectives.
Dementia A general and worsening loss of brain power such as memory, understanding and reasoning.
Diabetes Refers to a group of syndromes caused by a malfunction in the production and release of insulin by the pancreas leading to a disturbance in blood glucose levels. Type 1 diabetes is characterised by the abrupt onset of symptoms, usually during childhood; and inadequate production of insulin requiring regular injections to regulate insulin levels. Type 2 diabetes is characterised by gradual onset commonly between 50 and 60 years old; and is usually able to be regulated through dietary control.
Digital mammography Specialised form of mammography that uses digital receptors and computers instead of x-ray film to help examine breast tissue for breast cancer.
eHealth Application of internet and other related technologies in the health care industry to improve the access, efficiency, effectiveness and quality of clinical and business processes utilised by health care organisations, practitioners, patients and consumers to improve the health status of patients.
Epidermolysis Bullosa A rare inherited skin disorder which causes blistering. The Department provides access to clinically appropriate dressings through the National Epidermolysis Bullosa Dressing Scheme.
Faecal occult blood test A test that detects tiny amounts of blood, often released from bowel cancers or their precursors (polyps or adenomas) into the bowel motion.
Generic When referring to a drug, ‘generic’ means not covered by a trademark; where a drug is marketed under its chemical name without advertising.
Gene technology Gene technology involves techniques for understanding the expression of genes and taking advantage of natural genetic variation for the modification of genetic material. It does not include sexual reproduction or DNA crossover.
Hepatitis A
(infectious hepatitis)
An acute but benign form of viral hepatitis transmitted by ingesting food or drink that is contaminated with fecal matter.
Hepatitis B
(serum hepatitis)
An acute (sometimes fatal) form of viral hepatitis transmitted by sexual contact, by transfusion or by ingestion of contaminated blood or other bodily fluids.
Hepatitis C A blood borne viral disease that can result in serious liver disease such as cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. Hepatitis C is usually transmitted by parenteral means (as injection of an illicit drug or blood transfusion or exposure to blood or blood products).
Key Performance Indicators Indicators which measure agency effectiveness through program deliverables in achieving the program objectives.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) A non-invasive nuclear medicine technology that uses strong magnetic fields and radio frequency pulses to generate sectional images of the body. The image gives information about the chemical makeup of the tissues, allowing, for example, normal and cancerous tissues to be distinguished.
Measles An acute, contagious viral disease, usually occurring in childhood and characterized by eruption of red spots on the skin, fever, and catarrhal symptoms. Also called rubeola.
Melanoma A tumour arising from the skin, consisting of dark masses of cells with a tendency to metastasis. It is the most aggressive form of skin cancer.
Memorandum of Understanding A written but noncontractual agreement between two or more agencies or other parties to take a certain course of action.
The inflammation of meninges of the brain and the spinal cord caused by meningococcal bacteria which invade the body through respiratory tract. The infection develops quickly and is often characterised by fever, vomiting, an intense headache, stiff neck and septicemia (an infection in the bloodstream).
Mumps An acute, inflammatory, contagious disease caused by a paramyxovirus and characterised by swelling of the salivary glands, especially the parotids, and sometimes of the pancreas, ovaries, or testes. This disease mainly affects children and can be prevented by vaccination.
Oncology The study, knowledge and treatment of cancer and tumours.
Otitis media Middle Ear Infection. It is a significant health issue, especially for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Outcomes As used in the Australian Government’s Outcomes Framework, are the results, consequences or impacts of Government actions on the Australian community.
Palliative Care Care provided to achieve the best possible quality of life for patients with a progressive and far-advanced disease, with little or no prospect of cure.
Pandemic An epidemic affecting a wide geographic area.
Pathology The study and diagnosis of disease through the examination of organs, tissues, cells and bodily fluids.
Perinatal The period shortly before and after birth. The term generally describes the period between the 20th week of gestation and one to four weeks after birth.
Plain Packaging The Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 requires all tobacco products manufactured or packaged in Australia for domestic consumption from 1 October 2012 to be in plain packaging, and all tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging by 1 December 2012.
Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements Statements prepared by portfolios to explain the Additional Estimates Budget appropriations in terms of outcomes and programs.
Portfolio Budget Statements Statements prepared by portfolios to explain the Budget appropriations in terms of outcomes and programs.
Primary Care Provides the patient with a broad spectrum of care, both preventive and curative, over a period of time and coordinates all of the care the person receives.
Prosthesis An artificial device that replaces a missing body part lost through trauma, disease, or congenital conditions.
Radiation Oncology (Radiotherapy) The study and discipline of treating malignant disease with radiation. The treatment is referred to as radiotherapy or radiation therapy.
Remote Used for centres with a population up to 4,999 as identified by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Rubella (German Measles) A highly contagious viral disease which spreads through contact with discharges from the nose and throat of an infected person. Although rubella causes only mild symptoms of low fever, swollen glands, joint pain and a fine red rash in most children and adults, it can have severe complications for women in their first trimester of pregnancy. Complications include severe birth defects or death of the fetus.
Rural Used for centres with populations between 5,000 and 99,999 as identified by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Stoma Artificial body opening in the abdominal region, for the purpose of waste removal.
Telehealth The delivery of health services using different forms of communications technology such as video conferencing giving access to healthcare services to people in rural and remote areas.
Tumour An abnormal growth of tissue in which cell multiplication is uncontrolled and occurs faster than normal tissue growth.
Varicella (Chicken pox) A very contagious disease, an affected child or adult may develop hundreds of itchy, fluid-filled blisters that burst and form crusts. Varicella is caused by a virus, varicella-zoster.
Viral Hepatitis Inflammation of the liver caused by a virus.


ACAP Aged Care Assessment Program

ACAR Aged Care Approvals Round

ACAT Aged Care Assessment Team

ACCHO Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Organisations

AIHW Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

AHMAC Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council

ALSMH Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health

ALSWH Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health

ANZTPA Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency

APEC Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

ASGC-RA Australian Standard Geographical Classification – Remoteness Areas

ATAPS Access to Allied Psychological Services

AusAID Australian Agency for International Development

BBV Blood Borne Viruses (1.2 Deliverable)

CALD Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

CDC Consumer Directed Care

COAG Council of Australian Governments

CT Computed Tomography

FFR Federal Financial Relations

FOBT Faecal occult blood test

FTE Full-time Equivalent

FSANZ Food Standards Australia New Zealand

GMO Genetically Modified Organism

HACC Home and Community Care

HHF Health and Hospitals Fund

HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus

HPV Human Papillomavirus

IMAP Inventory Multi-tiered Assessment and Prioritisation

LGBTI Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex

MBS Medicare Benefits Schedule

MRI Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MSAC Medical Services Advisory Committee

NBN National Broadband Network

NDIS National Disability Insurance Scheme

NDSS National Diabetes Services Scheme

NEHTA National E-Health Transition Authority

NHFB National Health Funding Body

NIP National Immunisation Program

NNDSS National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System

NPS National Prescribing Service

OATSIH Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

OECD Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

OGTR Office of Gene Technology Regulator

PBAC Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee

PBPA Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority

PBS Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

PCEHR Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record

PIP Practice Incentives Program

RFDS Royal Flying Doctor Service

SCoH Standing Council on Health

STI Sexually Transmissible Infections

SUSMP Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons

TGA Therapeutic Goods Administration

WHO World Health Organization