The use of Indigenous-specific health checks varies from month-to-month. In some areas, particularly those with a high population of Indigenous Australians, the annual increase in health checks was accompanied by monthly variation following similar patterns in most years before the pandemic. For example, the number of health checks was consistently relatively low in December and January in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. In addition to the dip around the turn of the year, health check numbers have tended to be relatively low in April and relatively high in March, May and August. In areas with smaller Indigenous populations, the variation in health check numbers has been less predictable (Figure 3).
Some of these patterns have continued after the onset of the pandemic; many places saw a pronounced dip in health check numbers in April 2020 and 2021, and December and January continued to be months with relatively few health checks. However, the falls in health check numbers in these months were, in many places, more pronounced than those seen in the years before the pandemic (Figure 3).
In other months, following the beginning of the first wave of the pandemic in March 2020, most areas saw the numbers of health checks delivered decrease, relative to recent pre-pandemic levels (Figure 3). The patterns are explored in detail later in this report, including comparisons with population mobility data.
Figure 3: Number of Indigenous-specific health checks, by month and location, 2012 to 2021
An interactive line graph showing the number of Indigenous-specific health checks by year and month. Location and telehealth status can be selected from a dropdown menu. Refer to table 'CV03' in data tables.