Healthcare report lists differences between non-Indigenous, Indigenous Australians

A report comparing the performance of NSW’s public health system against other states and countries has found differences between Indigenous Australian and non-Indigenous Australian patients. 

Healthcare in Focus 2017: How does NSW compare? examines healthcare in the context of three dimensions of performance – accessibility, appropriateness and effectiveness – for more than 60 measures.

One third of these measures related to the experiences and outcomes of Indigenous Australian people.

“For the most part, NSW public hospitals met or exceeded expected standards for patient care in relation to access, appropriateness and effectiveness,” Bureau of Health Information chief executive Diane Watson said. 

“However, there are some notable differences in performance across hospitals, and between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, which point to opportunities to improve.”

The Southern NSW region includes the Bega Valley, stretching from Eden to Jindabyne and north to Young.

In this region, of those who left an emergency department without being seen first, 13 per cent of non-Indigenous Australian and 14 per cent of Indigenous Australian re-presented themselves at a hospital within 48 hours. 

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This was overall relatively low and there was less of a divide between Indigenous Australian and non-Indigenous Australians when compared to the other regions in the state. 

In Southern NSW, 72 per cent of Indigenous Australian and 79 per cent of non-Indigenous Australian mental health hospitalisations were followed up within seven days of discharge. 

Also, nine per cent Indigenous Australian and 14 per cent non-Indigenous Australian overnight hospitalisations in acute psychiatric inpatient services were followed by a readmission within 28 days of discharge in the region. 

For these hospitalisations, Southern NSW was the only region in the state where the percentage of non-Indigenous Australians were higher than for Indigenous Australians. 

Picture: Supplied

Picture: Supplied