Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Nations) people have access to an annual health check specifically tailored to their needs, funded through Medicare. This health check aims to identify and treat common health conditions that disproportionately affect First Nations people, such as diabetes and heart disease, promoting early detection and intervention.

During the health check, a General Practitioner (GP) or a multidisciplinary team led by a GP will assess the individual's physical, psychological, and social wellbeing, providing necessary health-related information, advice and care. If required, the GP may also refer the person to other healthcare professionals, such as physiotherapists, podiatrists, or dietitians, for free follow-‍up care under a list of First Nations Medicare items.

This report, updated annually, presents the latest data and trends in the use of First Nations health checks and follow-‍up services, disaggregated by age, sex and geography. For the first time, it also presents exploratory analyses of patterns of health check and follow-up use across areas with different socioeconomic circumstances.

Note that many patient counts are presented as proportions of the First Nations population, based on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) 2016 Census-based Estimates and Projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Reference period 2006 – 2031 (ABS 2019b). When the corresponding 2021 Census-based population series is available for future updates, proportions presented here may change considerably.

A summary of the key findings is listed below.

Data in this release

This report update includes the latest data and time-series outlined below in Table 1.

Changes in this edition:

  • New exploratory analyses are presented for clusters of areas, grouped by socioeconomic similarity.
  • Health check data for Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are newly disaggregated by age group.
  • New Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4) data replaces Statistical Area Level 3 (SA3) data.
  • New time-series data are added to all analyses.
  • Patient counts are no longer disaggregated by telehealth status. A short analysis covers monthly health check services delivered via telehealth from 2020–‍2022.
  • Temporary MBS items relating to services delivered in Residential Aged Care are removed from the analyses.
Table 1: Summary of data in this report update



Health checks

National uptake by age and sex, 2011–‍12 to 2021–‍22(1)

State/territory and Primary Health Network (PHN) uptake by age, 2016–‍17 to 2021–‍22(1)

Remoteness Area, Indigenous Region (IREG), Greater Capital City Statistical Area (GCCSA) and Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4) uptake, 2016–‍17 to 2021–‍22(1)

Uptake by socioeconomic clusters, 2016–‍17 to 2021–‍22(1)

Cumulative health checks, July 2012 to June 2022(1)

Time between health checks by sex, by age, by state/territory, by Remoteness Area, 2016–‍17 to 2021–‍22

Telehealth services per month, January 2020 to December 2022

Follow-‍up services overview

Follow-‍up use by age and sex, 2011–‍12 to 2021–‍22

Follow-‍up use by practitioner type, 2016–‍17 to 2021–‍22

Health checks resulting in a follow-‍up

Follow-‍up percentages by age and sex, 2011–‍12 to 2020–‍21(2)

State/territory, PHN, Remoteness Area, IREG, GCCSA and SA4 follow-‍up percentages, 2016–‍17 to 2020–‍21(2)

Follow-‍up percentages by socioeconomic clusters, 2016–‍17 to 2020–‍21(2)

Cumulative follow-‍ups, 2016–‍17 to 2020–‍21


  1. Health check uptake shows patient numbers as a proportion of the First Nations population, based on the ABS’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population estimates and projections for the 2006–‍2031 reference period (2016-‍based).
  2. Follow-‍up percentages show the proportion of health check patients each year, who received a First Nations follow-‍up service within 12 months of their health check.


ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) (2019b) Estimates and projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006 – 2031, ABS website, Australian Government, accessed 10 August 2023.