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Health risk factors

Health checks

Indigenous Australians can receive an annual health check that is funded through Medicare (Department of Health 2021). This Indigenous-specific health check was introduced in recognition that Indigenous Australians, as a group, experience some particular health risks.

The aim of the Indigenous-specific health check is to encourage early detection and treatment of common conditions that cause ill health and early death—for example, diabetes and heart disease.

In 2018–19, among Indigenous Australians:

  • 29% (241,017) had an Indigenous-specific health check.
  • Across states and territories, Queensland had the highest rate of Indigenous-specific health checks (with 37% of Indigenous Australians receiving an Indigenous-specific health check), followed by the Northern Territory (35%). Tasmania had the lowest rate (13%).
  • Across the five remoteness areas, the rate of Indigenous-specific health checks was generally higher in more remote areas—increasing from 24% in Major cities to 37% in Outer regional and 38% in Remote areas. Very remote areas were the exception to this general pattern, with a rate of 28% (Figure HR 16).