The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2014 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 (Table S1).

Areas of improvement include:

  • A 17% decline in deaths due to circulatory disease in the period from 2006 to 2012. This is the leading cause of death for Indigenous Australians.
  • A significant increase in health assessments for Indigenous Australians was recorded through Medicare in the period between 2006-07 and 2013-14. There was a 276% increase in the rate of Medicare health assessments for Indigenous Australians, from 50 per 1,000 in 2006-07 to 301 per 1,000 in 2013-14.
  • The immunisation coverage rate for Indigenous children is higher than other children at ages 2 and 5.

Areas of concern include:

  • The gap in the low birthweight rate for babies born to Indigenous compared with other mothers increased from 7.3% in 2001 to 9.3% in 2011. 
  • A high rate of Indigenous mothers smoked during pregnancy (51%).
  • There were lower rates of access to antenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy (54% for Indigenous mothers compared with 84% for non-Indigenous mothers).
  • Mortality rates for chronic diseases are much higher for Indigenous than non-Indigenous Australians (over 8 times the rate for diabetes, and about 3 times the rate for respiratory diseases).
  • The incidence of end-stage renal disease in Indigenous Australians increased 49% from 73 per 100,000 in 1996 to 120 per 100,000 in 2012.
  • There were high rates of hospitalisations due to injury for Indigenous Australians, particularly assault, falls and complications of medical and surgical care.
  • Indigenous Australians had a lower rate of access to procedures in hospitals.
  • Unemployment rates for people aged 15-64 continue to be higher for Indigenous Australians than for non-Indigenous Australians (19% compared with 3% in 2012-13).