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Improvements have been seen across a range of national key performance indicators (nKPIs) for Indigenous primary healthcare services, particularly in relation to 'process-of-care' indicators, according to two reports released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, National Key Performance Indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care: Results from December 2013 is the 2nd in a series released by the AIHW, and presents information from 207 services delivering care to over 265,000 clients. 

The 19 indicators in this report focus on chronic disease prevention and management and on maternal and child health over 4 reporting periods from June 2012 to December 2013. These are the two key focus areas to achieve the objective of closing the gap in life expectancy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

The report shows that there was an increase in the proportion of Indigenous Australians with health information recorded, including birthweight, smoking status and alcohol use status. The proportion of Indigenous children who had a Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) health assessment in the past 12 months rose from 23% to 27%, while the proportion of adults who had a health assessment in the past 24 months rose from 31% to 40%.

'For Indigenous Australians with type 2 diabetes, there was a rise in the proportion who received an MBS GP management plan and a rise in the number of clients who received an MBS team care arrangement,' Dr Al-Yaman said.

The report New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services: Assessment of the program using nKPI data: December 2012 to December 2013, uses the national primary health care indicator data to assess the New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program, which aims to increase access to, and use of, child and maternal health care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

For New Directions organisations, there were improvements in all the indicators related to good maternal and child health care processes.

'Improvements in indicators related to health outcomes are likely to take longer to show up in the data,' Dr Al-Yaman said.

The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.

Canberra, 12 December 2014

Further information: Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman, AIHW, mob. 0407 068 033

Full publications: National Key Performance Indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care: Results from December 2013 and New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services: Assessment of the program using nKPI data: December 2012 to December 2013