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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 
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spacing1What do we know about the hospitalisation of Indigenous people?

How do hospitalisation rates of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people compare?

Of the 8.2 million hospital separations for NSW, Vic, Qld, WA, SA and the NT during 2010-11, 327,435 (4.0%) were identified as Indigenous [1]. (The identification of Indigenous status was reviewed in 2007-2008 and is considered adequate - 20% or less under-identification - in these states and territories [2].) The overall age-standardised separation rate of 911 per 1,000 for Indigenous people was 2.5 times that for non-Indigenous people. The highest age-standardised separation rate was for Indigenous people living in the NT (1,704 per 1,000), with a rate 7.9 times that of non-Indigenous people.

In 2010-11, separation rates were higher for Indigenous people than for non-Indigenous people for virtually all age groups, with the ratios highest in the middle adult years [1].

What are the main causes of hospitalisation for Indigenous people?

In 2010-11 the most common reason of hospitalisation for Indigenous people living in NSW, Vic, Qld, WA, SA and the NT was for dialysis, accounting for 44% of Indigenous separations (143,306 separations) [1]. Many of these separations involved repeat admissions for the same people, some on an almost daily basis.
Injury (including motor vehicle accidents, assaults, self-inflicted harm and falls) was the next most common cause of hospitalisation for Indigenous, being responsible for 13% of separations (excluding dialysis) [1]. The next leading causes of hospitalisation for Indigenous people (excluding pregnancy-related conditions, most of which involved normal deliveries) were for respiratory conditions (responsible for 16,647 separations - 9.0% of separations excluding those for dialysis).

References

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2012) Australian hospital statistics 2010-11. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2010) Indigenous identification in hospital separations data-quality report. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
 
Last updated: 10 April 2013
 
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