Why population health data is important
A strong evidence base of population health data at different points in time and over time gives us valuable insights into:
- the health issues Australians are facing
- the factors that affect health
- what approaches work or don’t work in tackling disease and encouraging Australians to live a healthy lifestyle.
This helps us develop effective policy and programs that improve the health of Australians of all ages, wherever they live.
Our population health data holdings
We collate and publish health statistics, summaries and reports about:
- immunisation coverage for children and adults
- Australia’s health workforce
- Medicare use from 1984 onwards
- hospital use, including non-admitted patient care, admitted patients, and elective surgery and emergency department waiting times
- patient, medical and financial casemix for public and private hospitals
- medicine use and the cost of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
We apply a common sense data access and release policy supported by streamlined processes. This ensures public access to useful, de-personalised data.
Other population health data
We also use data created by other government agencies and partners to develop policy and inform decisions:
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics maintains data on health conditions and risks, mental health, causes of death, disability and health services.
- The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare publishes reports and data on a broad range of topics, including a biennial report on health of Australians.
- The Cancer Council Victoria conducts a survey on substance use among secondary school students every 3 years.
Data Integration Partnership for Australia
The Data Integration Partnership for Australia worked to build and expand data assets across government.
As a member of the Social, Health and Welfare Unit, we use the education, health and welfare data to:
- develop more effective policy interventions
- design better services
- improve program delivery.
The Australian Immunisation Register has been linked to the ABS’s Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (AIR-MADIP) to allow more complex immunisation analysis and reporting by population characteristics to inform policy decision-making and evaluation.
More information is available at Australian Immunisation Register linked to the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project.