Access to hospital procedures
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are more likely to be hospitalised than non-Indigenous Australians, but are less likely to receive a medical or surgical procedure while in hospital.
Over the period July 2017 to June 2019, there were 385,020 hospitalisations (excluding dialysis) for Indigenous Australians where a medical or surgical procedure was recorded, and 15,231,823 for non-Indigenous Australians. After adjusting for differences in the age structure between the two populations, Indigenous Australians were 0.8 times as likely to have a medical or surgical procedure recorded than non-Indigenous Australians (63% compared with 77%).
For Indigenous Australians, the proportion of hospitalisations where a procedure was recorded decreased as remoteness of usual residence increased, declining from 68% in Major cities to 53% in Very remote areas (Figure 6.10).
Between 2009–10 and 2018–19, in the six jurisdictions with adequate Indigenous identification (NSW, Vic, Qld, WA, SA and NT), the age-standardised proportion of hospitalisations where a procedure was recorded increased by 14% for Indigenous Australians, with no significant change for non-Indigenous Australians (Figure 6.10).
Figure 6.10: Proportion of hospitalisations that included a procedure, for Indigenous Australians by remoteness area (crude proportion, July 2017 to June 2019), and by Indigenous status (age-standardised, 2009–10 to 2016–17)
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