Prevention and early intervention
Preventive and early intervention health services that are timely, comprehensive, appropriate and effective support better overall health and wellbeing. People with disability experience preventable health conditions and comorbidities at higher rates than people without disability, placing them at substantially higher risk of adverse health outcomes. Access to early interventions, regular health assessments and rehabilitation improves long-term outcomes for individuals and can help to reduce future costs of care and support (Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–2031).
Avoidable emergency presentations
A visit to a hospital emergency department where the care or service received in emergency could have, instead, been provided by a general practitioner (GP) is an avoidable emergency presentation. Factors such as cost, geographic location, accessibility of facilities and unavailability of other health services can affect which health service is visited (AIHW 2020).
The desired key system outcome for this measure is that primary health care provides people with disability with high-quality prevention and early intervention services when they need them.
System measure: Number of people with disability with GP-type emergency department presentations
Desired outcome: Decrease in the number of people
Data source: ABS SDAC
This measure will be replaced in the future when available data are improved. During the life of the Strategy, it will be replaced by ‘Proportion of people with disability who accessed prevention and early intervention services in the last 12 months without difficulty compared with people without disability’.
For the latest data and breakdowns of the data, see Australia’s Disability Strategy Outcomes Framework | Avoidable emergency presentations.
Medical facility accessibility
People with disability have a range of health care needs, and access a variety of health services and facilities, including GPs, dentists, hospitals, and allied health services. People with disability may encounter barriers that limit their access to these facilities, which can negatively affect their access to health care.
Better outcomes for people with disability are achieved when health providers deliver communication, services and facilities that are accessible and appropriate (Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–2031).
The desired population outcome for this measure is to see an increase in long-term wellbeing for people with disability.
Population measure: Proportion of people with disability with difficulty accessing medical facilities (GP, dentist, hospital)
Desired outcome: Decrease in the proportion
Data source: ABS SDAC
Data for this measure is restricted to people with disability aged 5 and over living in households, who leave home and need assistance or have difficulty with communication or mobility because of disability.
For the latest data and breakdowns of the data, see Australia’s Disability Strategy Outcomes Framework | Medical facility accessibility.
AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2020) Coordination of health care: experiences of barriers to accessing health services among patients aged 45 and over, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 30 August 2023.
Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–2031 (2021), Department of Social Services, Australian Government, accessed 30 August 2023.