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released: 30 Nov 2011 author: AIHW

This report contains detailed analyses against indicators in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework (the HPF) for South Australia.

ISBN 978-1-74249-237-7; Cat. no. IHW 62; 241pp.; Internet only

Key findings

A summary of the key findings under each tier are outlined below as well as in a table format in page xi for ease of reference.

Health status and health outcomes

Areas of improvement

While the health status of Indigenous people in South Australia is worse than their non-Indigenous counterparts against most indicators, small but significant health gains have been made in a number of areas:

  • Although the proportion of babies born to Indigenous mothers in South Australia is over 2 times as likely to be of low birthweight as those of non-Indigenous mothers, there has been a 17% decline in the rate of low birthweight babies born to Indigenous mothers over the period 2000–2008.
  • Notification rates of syphilis among Indigenous people have decreased significantly by 87% between 1994–1996 to 2006–2008.
  • Significant closing of the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous mortality was seen for:
    – infant mortality which declined by 54% between 1991 and 2007 (20 to 12 per 1,000 births respectively) and perinatal mortality which also declined from 16.7 per 1,000 births in 1999-2003 to 9.7 in 2004-2008
    – all-cause mortality which declined by 20% over the period 1991–2007.

Areas needing further work

Despite making progress in some areas, Indigenous Australians in South Australia are lagging behind in a large number of areas where further improvements need to be made to close the gap in health disadvantage:

  • Indigenous hospitalisation rate for all major health conditions is just over three times the rate of other Australians in South Australia in 2006–2008:
    – there has been a significant increase (17% increase) in the rate of Indigenous hospitalisations for all-causes between 2001-02 and 2007-08, and
    – over the same period there has been a significant increase in Indigenous hospitalisation rates for injury and poisoning (22% increase).

Determinants of health

Areas of improvement

Some improvements have been made in key health determinants in recent years in South Australia:

  • A higher proportion of Indigenous adults than non-Indigenous adults were studying in 2008 in South Australia (20% and 14% respectively)
  • In 2004–05, 95% of Indigenous Australians aged 12 years and over in South Australia reported that they ate vegetables daily, 87% ate fruit daily and 95% drank milk.

Areas needing further work

Despite significant improvements as mentioned above, further improvements need to be made in a number of areas to close the gap in health disadvantage:

  • Indigenous children aged 0–16 years were more likely than other children to be the subject of child protection substantiation (51 per 1,000 compared to 4 per 1,000)
  • in 2007, Indigenous mothers were over 3 times as likely as non-Indigenous mothers to smoke during pregnancyIn 2007–08, 66% of Indigenous children aged 0–14 years lived in households with a daily smoker, compared with 30% of non-Indigenous children
  • Indigenous people in South Australia were 16 times as likely as their non-Indigenous counterparts to be imprisoned in 2009
  • the mean equalised gross weekly household income for Indigenous adults was $552 per week in 2008, compared with $891 for non-Indigenous adults.

Health system performance

Areas of improvement

There have been improvements in health system performance in recent years including:

  • over 90% of Indigenous mothers attended at least one antenatal care session during pregnancy in 2007, an increase of 30% since 1998
  • in 2004-05, a higher proportion (85%) of Indigenous people aged 65 years and over had been vaccinated against influenza than non-Indigenous people of the same age (78%). Similarly, there was a higher proportion of Indigenous than non-Indigenous people vaccinated against pneumonia (58% and 45% respectively)
  • the proportion of Indigenous children who were fully immunised at 5 years of age showed a marked increase between 2004 and 2009 from 67% to 72%.

Areas needing further work

Further improvements are needed for some areas including:

  • the proportion of Indigenous children who were fully immunised at age 1 decreased by 12% between 2004 and 2009
  • Indigenous people in South Australia were hospitalised for potentially preventable conditions at four times the rate of other people (169 and 43 per 1,000 people respectively during 2006-08):
    – the rate of hospitalisations of Indigenous people for preventable acute conditions increased by 36% between 2001-02 and 2007-08, and
    – over the same period, the rate of preventable chronic disease hospitalisation rate among Indigenous people increased by 81%.

Recommended citation

AIHW 2011. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2010 report: South Australia. Cat. no. IHW 62. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 18 September 2014 <http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737420740>.