Summary

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health performance framework 2014 report for South Australia finds improvements in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and areas of concern (Table S1).

Areas of improvement include:

  • A 16% decline in total mortality rates for Indigenous Australians between 1998 and 2013, and a 39% decline in deaths due to circulatory disease.
  • A substantial increase in Medicare recorded health assessments for Indigenous Australians, from 25 per 1,000 in 2006-07 to 148 per 1,000 in 2013-14. An increase was seen in children (0-14), adults (15-54) and older people (55 and over).
  • A narrowing of the gap in the low birthweight rate for babies born to Indigenous and other mothers, from 10.4% in 2001 to 8.5% in 2011.

Other positive findings are:

  • School retention rates are substantially higher than the national average, with 77% of South Australian Indigenous students continuing from the start of secondary school until Year 12, compared with 55% of Indigenous students nationally.
  • 68% of Indigenous South Australians aged 20-24 have attained at least Year 12 or equivalent certification-substantially higher than the national proportion of 59%.

Areas of concern for South Australia include:

  • 60% of Indigenous women smoked during pregnancy-4 times the rate among non- Indigenous pregnant women in South Australia, and higher than the rate among Indigenous women nationally (50%).
  • Indigenous women had lower rates of access to antenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy (57% compared with 80% for non-Indigenous women).
  • The rate of immunisation coverage for Indigenous children is lower than for other children at age 1 (by 10 percentage points), age 2 (5 percentage points) and age 5 (8 percentage points).
  • 51 per 1,000 Indigenous children were on care and protection orders at 30 June 2013, 9 times the rate for non-Indigenous children and an increase from 38 per 1,000 in 2009.
  • Mortality rates for chronic diseases are much higher for Indigenous than non-Indigenous Australians (3 times the rate for diabetes and more than twice the rate for digestive diseases).
  • The incidence of end-stage kidney disease in Indigenous Australians is almost 8 times that in non-Indigenous Australians (73 compared with 9 per 100,000).
  • Mortality rates for injury and poisoning are more than twice as high for Indigenous compared with non-Indigenous Australians (83 compared with 38 per 100,000).
  • Indigenous Australians are more than twice as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to be hospitalised for injury and poisoning. The gap is widest for assault, falls and intentional self-harm.
  • Unemployment rates for people aged 15-64 continue to be higher for Indigenous Australians than for non-Indigenous Australians (23% compared with 6% in 2012-13).