Key findings

p>A summary of the key findings under each tier are outlined below as well as in a table format for ease of reference.

Health status and health outcomes

Areas of improvement

While the health status of Indigenous people in Queensland is worse than their non-Indigenous counterparts against most indicators, significant health gains have been made in a number of areas:

  • Although there has been no significant change in the rate of hospitalisation for injury and poisoning among Indigenous people between 2001–02 and 2007–08, the rate has increased among other people, thus narrowing the gap between the two population groups.
  • Between 2005 and 2007, life expectancy was higher for Indigenous males and females in Queensland than it was nationally.
  • Significant closing of the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous mortality was seen for:
    • The infant mortality rate, which declined by 35% between 2001 and 2007
    • The avoidable mortality rate, which declined by 33% between 2001 and 2007, but this is still 3 times the rate of other people.

Areas needing further work

Despite making progress in some areas, further improvements need to be made in a number of areas to close the gap in health disadvantage:

  • Babies of Indigenous mothers are nearly twice as likely to be of low birthweight than babies born to non-Indigenous mothers.
  • Hospitalisation rate for all major health conditions among Indigenous people was twice the rate of other people in Queensland during the period 2006–2008 and there has been no significant change over time
    • Indigenous people were hospitalised for circulatory disease at nearly twice the rate of other people.
  • The incidence rate of treated end-stage renal disease (ESRD) for Indigenous people was around eight times the rate for non-Indigenous people.
  • Syphilis and gonorrhoea notification rates among Indigenous people were about 14 times the rate for other people.
  • Life expectancy at birth among Indigenous males and females was nearly 10 years lower than that of all males and females in Queensland
    • Deaths from all causes among Indigenous people were nearly twice that observed among non-Indigenous people.

Determinants of health

Areas of improvement

There have been improvements in some key health determinants in recent years including:

  • In 2004–05, 95% of Indigenous Australians aged 12 years and over ate vegetables daily, 86% ate fruit daily and 98% drank milk daily.
  • In 2008, 80% of Indigenous infants aged 0–3 years had ever been breastfed compared with 77% of non-Indigenous infants the same age.

Areas needing further work

  • In 2007–08, 64% of Indigenous children aged 0–14 years lived in households with a daily smoker, compared with 35% of non-Indigenous children.
  • The crude imprisonment rate of Indigenous people increased by 14% between 2000 and 2009.
  • Indigenous children aged 0–16 years were more likely than other children to be the subject of child protection substantiation (27 per 1,000 compared with 4 per 1,000).
  • In 2007, Indigenous mothers were three times as likely as non-Indigenous mothers to smoke during pregnancy.

Health system performance

Areas of improvement

  • In 2007, 98% of Indigenous mothers had attended at least one antenatal care session during pregnancy.
  • In 2004–05, 64% of Indigenous people aged 50 years and over had been vaccinated against influenza and 41% had been vaccinated against pneumonia, higher than the corresponding proportions nationally (60% and 34%).
  • The hospitalisation rate for vaccine-preventable conditions declined by 35% for Indigenous people with signs of the gap narrowing between 2001–02 and 2007–08.
  • In 2006–07, the State Government was estimated to have spent, on average, $3,460 on health per Indigenous person compared with $1,549 per non-Indigenous person.

Areas needing further work

  • The proportion of Indigenous women aged 50–69 years participating in the BreastScreen Australia program decreased by 2% between 2003–04 and 2007–08.
  • The hospitalisation rate for preventable chronic conditions among Indigenous people increased by 87% between 2001–02 and 2007–08, indicating a widening of the gap between Indigenous and other people.