Summary

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017 report for the Northern Territory finds areas of improvement and areas of concern in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in the Northern Territory.

Areas of improvement for the Northern Territory include:

  • A 45% decline in age-standardised death rates due to circulatory diseases in the period from 1998 to 2015, from 611 to 433 per 100,000. Despite this decrease, circulatory diseases are still the leading cause of death for Indigenous Australians (tables 1.23.2 and 1.23.28).
    • A significant increase in health assessments for Indigenous Australians was recorded through Medicare in the period between 2006–07 and 2015–16, from 67 to 329 per 1,000 (Table 3.04.3).
  • A decrease in the infant mortality rate, from 21 per 1,000 live births in 1998–2000 to 13 per 1,000 live births in 2013–2015 (Table 1.20.9).

Areas of concern for the Northern Territory include:

  • The gap in the low birthweight rate for babies born to Indigenous compared with non-Indigenous mothers increased from 7.3% in 2001 to 8.8% in 2014 (Table 1.01.3).
  • A higher proportion (age-standardised) of Indigenous than non-Indigenous mothers who gave birth in 2014 smoked during pregnancy (47% compared with 11%) (Table 2.21.1).
  • There was a lower age-standardised rate of access to antenatal care services in the first trimester of pregnancy (56% for Indigenous mothers compared with 88% for non-Indigenous mothers) in 2014 (Table 3.01.10).
  • The age-standardised mortality rate for cancer for Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory increased by 38%, from 258 per 100,000 in 1998 to 323 per 100,000 in 2015 (Table 1.23.29).
  • Age-standardised rates of participation in BreastScreen for Indigenous women aged 50–69 were lower than for non-Indigenous women, 28% compared with 43% in 2013–14 (Table 3.04.9).
  • Age-standardised mortality rates for chronic diseases were much higher for Indigenous than non-Indigenous Australians: almost 8 times the rate for diabetes, and about 3 times the rate for respiratory diseases in 2011–2015 (Table 1.23.2).
  • The incidence of end-stage kidney disease for Indigenous Australians increased 67% from 73 per 100,000 in 1996 to 140 per 100,000 in 2014 (Table 1.10.15).
  • Age-standardised hospitalisation rate for Indigenous Australians due to injury and poisoning was 2 times the rate for non-Indigenous Australians (72 per 1,000 compared with 31 per 1,000) in July 2013 to June 2015 (Table 1.03.3).
  • Over the last decade, age-standardised rates of hospitalisation due to injury and poisoning for Indigenous Australians increased by 29%, from 55 per 1,000 in 2004–05 to 74 per 1,000 in 2014–15 (Table 1.03.5 NT).
  • Employment rates for people aged 15–64 continued to be lower for Indigenous Australians than for non-Indigenous Australians (37% compared with 83% in 2014–15) (Table 2.07.5).