Indigenous status

In 2017–18, there were about 27,000 admissions from elective surgery waiting lists for patients who identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Overall, the time within which 50% of Indigenous Australians were admitted was higher than that for other Australians (48 days compared with 40 days). This pattern was consistent across all jurisdictions, except South Australia.

The proportion of Indigenous Australians who waited more than 365 days for elective surgery in 2017–18 was lower than for other Australians (1.7% and 1.8%, respectively).

Indigenous Australians had higher waiting times than other Australians for most of the selected intended surgical procedures.

For intended surgical procedures for which there were at least 100 admissions for Indigenous persons, the most notable differences in time within which 50% of Indigenous Australians compared with other Australians were admitted were for Total knee replacement (277 days and 196 days, respectively) and Total hip replacement (214 days and 119 days respectively).

The waiting time within which 50% of Indigenous Australians were admitted was lower than other Australians for Myringoplasty/tympanoplasty (124 days and 238 days, respectively), and Haemorrhoidectomy (28 days and 48 days, respectively).

For Indigenous Australians, the highest proportion of patients who waited more than 365 days to be admitted was for Septoplasty (13.3%), followed by Total knee replacement (11.1%). 

Where to go for more information

Information on admissions by surgical specialty and intended surgical procedure is available in Waiting list activity.

Information on waiting times by urgency category is available in the pdf report available for download.

Tables 4.11 to 4.18: Selected statistics for admissions from public hospital elective surgery waiting lists, by clinical urgency category (for each state and territory). Available to download in the data section of this report.

Information on data limitations and methods is available in Appendix A and Appendix B.