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released: 25 Oct 2011 author: AIHW

In 2009-10, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander: * primary health care services provided 2.4 million episodes of health care to about 456,000 clients, a 14% increase in episodes of care, and a 22% increase in the number of clients reported compared with 2008-09. * substance use services provided treatment and assistance to about 26,300 clients, an increase of 14% compared with 2008-09. * Bringing Them Home and Link Up services provided counselling to about 10,700 clients, an increase of about 27% compared with 2008-09.

ISBN 978-1-74249-200-1; Cat. no. IHW 56; 126pp.; Internet only

Key findings

Primary health care

  • In 2009–10, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care services funded by the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH) provided 2.4 million episodes of health care to about 456,000 clients. Compared with 2008–09, there was a 14% increase in episodes of care, and a 22% increase in the number of clients reported.
  • More than three-quarters of clients (78% or 357,000) were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
  • About 4,800 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff—including 3,100 FTE health staff and 1,700 FTE managerial, administrative, support and other roles—worked at, and were paid by, their service—a 12% increase from the previous year.
  • These staff were assisted in delivering primary health care by 175 FTE visiting health professionals paid for by other organisations.
  • More than half (57%) of FTE positions were held by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

Substance use

  • In 2009–10, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stand-alone substance use services funded by OATSIH provided treatment and assistance for substance use issues to about 26,300 clients, an increase of 14% compared with 2008–09.
  • About three-quarters (75% or 19,800) clients were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stand-alone substance use services provided: 3,400 residential episodes of care (a 6% decrease from the previous year); 16,300 sobering-up, residential respite and short-term episodes of care (a 14% increase from the previous year); and 56,000 non-residential, follow-up and aftercare episodes of care (a 12% increase from the previous year).
  • About 800 FTE staff from various health (430 FTE) and managerial, administrative, support and other roles (370 FTE) worked at, and were paid by, their service.
  • These staff were assisted in delivering substance use treatment by 87 FTE visiting health professionals paid for by other organisations.
  • More than half (59%) of the 800 FTE positions were held by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

Bringing Them Home and Link Up counselling

  • In 2009–10, Bringing Them Home and Link Up counselling services funded by OATSIH provided counselling to about 10,700 clients, an increase of about 27% compared with 2008–09. Most (96% or 10,300) clients were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
  • These services reported 56,800 client contacts—a 39% increase from the previous year.
  • About 136 counsellors (116 FTE) were employed by the counselling services. Most (89%) services had at least one Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander counsellor.

Data quality

  • The data were collected using the OATSIH Services Reporting questionnaire.
  • The majority of 2009–10 questionnaires received had one or more of the following data quality issues: missing data; inappropriate data provided for a question; or lack of coherence of data from two or more questions. Where needed, AIHW staff contacted services to follow up and get additional or corrected data.

Recommended citation

AIHW 2011. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services report 2009-10: OATSIH Services Reporting - key results. Cat. no. IHW 56. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 8 December 2016 <http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737420224>.

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