Time between health checks

This section looks at the group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who had at least one Indigenous-specific health check between July 2018 and June 2020, and describes the amount of time (in whole calendar months) between their most recent health check in that period and their previous most recent health check, where applicable, back to July 2010.

Proportions in this section refer to the population who had at least one Indigenous-specific health check in 2018–19 or 2019–20, and not to the total estimated Indigenous population. For additional information, see Data and notes.

Overall, nearly 374,000 people had at least one Indigenous-specific health check in 2018–19 or 2019–20 (Figure 8). Of these:

  • 72,500 people (19%) had their most recent prior health check less than 12 months earlier.
  • 63,000 people (17%) had their most recent prior health check 12 to 14 months earlier.
  • Another 73,700 people (20%) had their most recent prior health check 15 to 23 months earlier.
  • 80,600 people (22%) had no prior history of Indigenous-specific health checks.
    • Note that this includes children under 5 years old, 47% (21,300) of whom had no prior Indigenous-specific health checks (Figure 9).

Figure 8: Indigenous-specific health check patients who received a health check between July 2018 and June 2020, by time between most recent 2 health checks, by sex, July 2010 to June 2020  

Column graph showing the number of Indigenous-specific health check patients, by sex, who received at least 1 health check between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2020, categorised by the extent of time (months or years) between their most recent 2 health checks on or before 30 June 2020, including those with no previous health checks on record. The graph is also viewable in terms of the proportion of patients in each category.

The figure shows that 19% of Indigenous Australians who had a health check between July 2018 and June 2020 had their most recent 2 health checks less than 12 months apart. Another 17% had their most recent 2 health checks 12 to 14 apart. 4% had their most recent 2 health checks 5 or more years apart. 22% people had no prior history of Indigenous-specific health checks. Refer to table ‘HC10’ in data tables.

Looking at broad age groups, young children (0–4 years) were the most distinct group, since nearly half of those counted (47%) had only 1 Indigenous-specific health check on record, compared with 13–22% in other age groups (Figure 9). This is of course partly because some infants will be too young to have received a second health check.

Among those aged 5 and over:

  • Indigenous youth (15–24 years) were the age group with the longest time period between health checks (24 months on average), and highest proportion of patients with only 1 health check on record (22%).
  • Indigenous people aged 55 years and over had the shortest average time period between their 2 most recent health checks (18 months), and lowest proportion of patients with only 1 health check on record (13%) (Figure 9).

Figure 9: Indigenous-specific health check patients who received a health check between July 2018 and June 2020, by time between most recent 2 health checks, by age group, July 2010 to June 2020

Two bar graphs: one graph shows the number of Indigenous-specific health check patients, by age group, who received at least 1 health check between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2020, categorised by the extent of time (months or years) between their most recent 2 health checks on or before 30 June 2020, including those with no previous health checks on record. The data are presented as stacked bars, and show that 26% of Indigenous Australians aged 55 and over had their most recent 2 health checks less than 12 months apart, compared with 17% of Indigenous Australians aged 15 to 24.

The second graph shows the mean and median number of months between most recent 2 health checks, by age group, for those Indigenous Australians who received at least 1 health check between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2020 and who had at least 2 health checks on record. Among age groups, patients aged 0 to 4 had the lowest average interval period at 16 months between health checks, and patients aged 15 to 24 had the longest average interval period at 24 months apart. Refer to table ‘HC11’ for time ranges data and table ‘HC14’ for means and medians, in data tables.

Looking at the states and territories:

  • The Northern Territory had the lowest proportion of patients with only 1 health check on record (13%), but had one of the highest average time periods between health checks (23 months) (Figure 10).
  • Queensland had a relatively low proportion of patients with only 1 health check on record (19%), and had the lowest average time period between health checks (20 months).
  • Tasmania had the highest proportion of patients with only 1 health check on record (37%) but a relatively low average time period between health checks (21 months).

Among remoteness areas:

  • Indigenous-specific health check patients living in the 3 non-remote area classifications had the same average time period between health checks (21 months), however, there were many more patients in Major cities with only 1 health check on record, compared with Outer regional areas (28% and 17%, respectively).
  • Patients living in Remote and Very remote areas had the longest average time periods between health checks (22 months and 24 months, respectively), but relatively few patients had only 1 health check on record (14% in Remote areas and 15% in Very remote areas).

Figure 10: Indigenous-specific health check patients who received a health check between July 2018 and June 2020, by time between most recent 2 health checks, by geography, July 2010 to June 2020

Two bar graphs: one graph shows the number of Indigenous-specific health check patients, by state/territory and remoteness areas, who received at least 1 health check between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2020, categorised by the extent of time (months or years) between their most recent 2 health checks on or before 30 June 2020, including those with no previous health checks on record. The data are presented as stacked bars, and show that 24% of Indigenous Australians in Queensland had their most recent 2 health checks less than 12 months apart, compared with 8% of Indigenous Australians in Tasmania.

The second graph shows the mean and median number of months between most recent 2 health checks, by state/territory and remoteness areas, for those Indigenous Australians who received at least 1 health check between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2020 and who had at least 2 health checks on record. Among states and territories, patients in Queensland had the lowest average interval period at 20 months between health checks. Patients in Very Remote areas had the longest average interval period at 24 months between health checks. Refer to tables ‘HC12’ and ‘HC13’ for time ranges data and table ‘HC14’ for means and medians, in data tables.