Introduction

Indigenous-specific primary health care organisations play a critical role in improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (hereafter referred to as Indigenous Australians). Indigenous Australians may access either mainstream or Indigenous-specific primary health care organisations (hereafter referred to as organisations).

Information on organisations funded by the Australian Government under its Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme (IAHP) is available through two data collections, the Online Services Report (OSR) and the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPI):

  • OSR—collects contextual information annually (covering the period 1 July–30 June) on the organisations, such as client numbers, client contacts, episodes of care, and staffing levels
  • nKPI—collects information twice a year (with census dates at 30 June and 31 December) from the organisations on a set of process-of-care and health-status indicators for Indigenous Australians, focusing on maternal and child health, preventative health, and chronic disease management.

This report presents the latest results from these collections.

Purpose of the OSR and nKPI collections

The main purpose of the OSR and nKPI collections is to support continuous quality improvement (CQI) activity among organisations funded under the IAHP. They can also be used to support policy and service planning at the national and state/territory levels, by monitoring progress and highlighting areas for improvement. In addition to this, information from the collections helps monitor progress against the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Closing the Gap targets, and supports the national health goals set out in the Implementation Plan for the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan 2013–2023.

Most organisations contribute to both the OSR and nKPI collections (Table 1).

Table 1: Number of organisations reporting to the OSR and nKPI collections(a)

  1. Refers to the June reporting period for the nKPI (see nKPI - introduction) and the financial year reporting period for the OSR (see OSR - introduction).
  2. Unlike in previous years, for 2019–20 and 2020–21, reporting to the collections was made voluntary in acknowledgement of the additional pressures on organisations because of COVID-19.
  3. Organisations that received funding only for maternal and child health (MCH) services. OSR data presented in this report exclude these organisations unless otherwise noted. See OSR - summary over time for selected data from these organisations, and Interpreting OSR data for more information.

Note: See also Technical notes and Impact of COVID-19 for information on interpreting changes over time.

Source: AIHW analysis of OSR and nKPI collections.

All organisations receiving IAHP funding share a commitment to providing holistic, comprehensive and culturally appropriate health care. These organisations can be split into two main types—Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and non-Community Controlled Health Organisations (non-ACCHOs). ACCHOs are initiated and operated by their local Aboriginal communities through locally elected Boards of Management. Non-ACCHOs are a mix of government-run organisations (such as local health districts) and non-government organisations (such as not-for-profit charitable health services). ACCHOs generally deliver a set of services deemed to be ‘comprehensive health care’ while non-ACCHOs may offer limited or a full range of services. As such, these types of organisations can have very different profiles (Table 2) and caution should be used when interpreting the OSR and nKPI data by organisation type presented in this report. For more information on interpreting data in this report, see Technical notes and Glossary.

Table 2: Selected measures from the OSR collection, by organisation type, 2020–21

Clients

ACCHO

Non-ACCHO

Total

Mean

3,093

1,098

2,390

Median

2,314

650

1,656

Indigenous clients

ACCHO

Non-ACCHO

Total

Mean

2,498

898

1,934

Median

1,923

550

1,238

Client contacts

ACCHO

Non-ACCHO

Total

Mean

39,572

8,845

28,794

Median

33,478

6,444

17,707

Episodes of care

ACCHO

Non-ACCHO

Total

Mean

24,934

6,893

18,572

Median

19,952

5,115

12,777

Employed health full time equivalent (FTE) staff

ACCHO

Non-ACCHO

Total

Mean

35.0

7.0

25.2

Median

22.8

4.5

13.8

Number of organisations

ACCHO

Non-ACCHO

Total

Total

124

67

191

Note: This table and other data in this report exclude the small number of organisations that received funding only for maternal and child health services unless otherwise noted. See Table 1 for the number of maternal and child health organisations, OSR summary over time for selected data from these organisations, and Interpreting OSR data for more information.

Source: AIHW analysis of OSR data collection.