This web report is an update to the 2020 report, Australian bushfires 2019–20: exploring the short-term health impacts. This report provides additional information on the short-term health impacts of the 2019–20 bushfires through the analysis of admitted patient hospitalisations, emergency department presentations and use of bushfire-specific mental health Medicare-subsidised services in Australia, as well as changes in the frequency of selected physical activities in the Australian Capital Territory.

  • Cat. no: PHE 293

Key findings

Findings from this report:
  • Hospitalisations and ED presentations for respiratory illness increased with poor air quality caused by bushfire smoke

  • Physical activity data for the ACT show a decrease in activities like riding and running when smoke pollution was high

  • There was an increase in mental health-related service use in some areas associated with fire activity

  • Increases in hospitalisations for burns in some areas coincided with fire activity

Contents of this report