About this report

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 in June and December) from the organisations on a set of 24 process-of-care and health-outcome 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)

2019–20 (OSR)/June 2020 (nKPI)(b)

IAHP funding type

Reporting
to OSR

Reporting
to nKPI

Reporting
to both collections

Primary health care

196

197

182

Maternal and child health(c)

19

23

18

Total

215

220

200

2018–19 (OSR)/June 2019 (nKPI)

IAHP funding type

Reporting
to OSR

Reporting
to nKPI

Reporting
to both collections

Primary health care

210

213

201

Maternal and child health(c)

22

21

21

Total

232

234

222

2017–18 (OSR)/June 2018 (nKPI)

IAHP funding type

Reporting
to OSR

Reporting
to nKPI

Reporting
to both collections

Primary health care

198

215

184

Maternal and child health(c)

19

18

16

Total

217

233

200

2016–17 (OSR)/June 2017 (nKPI)

IAHP funding type

Reporting
to OSR

Reporting
to nKPI

Reporting
to both collections

Primary health care

196

211

179

Maternal and child health(c)

17

17

15

Total

213

228

194

  1. Refers to the June collection period for the nKPI (see What are the nKPIs?) and the financial year collection period for the OSR (see What are Indigenous-specific primary health care organisations?).
  2. Unlike in previous years, for 2019–20, 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 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). 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: Mean and median of selected measures from the OSR collection, by organisation type, 2019–20

Clients

ACCHO

Government

Other

Total

Mean

3,096

1,079

1,895

2,390

Median

2,650

670

1,331

1,729

Indigenous clients

ACCHO

Government

Other

Total

Mean

2,545

886

1,335

1,952

Median

2,072

552

906

1,277

Client contacts

ACCHO

Government

Other

Total

Mean

38,777

9,408

11,472

27,899

Median

30,983

6,270

10,962

17,830

Episodes of care

ACCHO

Government

Other

Total

Mean

24,043

7,479

8,012

17,904

Median

19,744

5,237

6,621

12,126

Employed health full time equivalent (FTE) staff

ACCHO

Government

Other

Total

Mean

30.3

6.7

11.0

21.7

Median

21.6

4.2

6.6

12.8

Number of organisations

ACCHO

Government

Other

Total

Total

123

62

11

196

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.