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Health services

Location of services

Access to appropriate, high-quality and timely health care throughout is essential to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (AIHW 2022c).

While access to some health services has improved over time, Indigenous Australians do not always have the same level of access to health services as other Australians (AIHW 2020a). Disparities in access may be due to factors such as remoteness, affordability, and to services that do not provide culturally responsive care (AIHW 2022c).

Indigenous Australians can access primary health care through:

  • mainstream services
  • Indigenous-specific primary health care organisations.

Mainstream services are generally funded by a combination of MBS rebates and patient contributions (if a service is not bulk billed). Indigenous-specific primary health care organisations, which receive funding from the Australian Government through the Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme to provide comprehensive and culturally safe care to Indigenous clients. Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) manage most of the funded organisations, which are located throughout Australia (for more information, see AIHW 2022a).

General Practitioner services

The number of General Practitioner service locations are available from HealthDirect.

Table HS 1: Number of onsite General Practitioner service locations by jurisdiction, 2022

State

Number of GP service locations

New South Wales

2,602

Victoria

2,000

Queensland

1,624

Western Australia

729

South Australia

518

Tasmania

161

Australian Capital Territory

107

Northern Territory

112

Total

7,853

Notes

1. Numbers extracted from website on 8 November 2022. Numbers subject to change over time.

2. Duplicates have been removed based on site name, state, latitude and longitude.

3. Includes only onsite services within General Practice service category.

Source: HealthDirect 2022.

Indigenous-specific primary health care

Indigenous-specific primary health care services are run by Aboriginal community-controlled health organisations (ACCHOs), state/territory or local health services, or non-government organisations.

These organisations, designed to be accessible to Indigenous clients, are administered and run by:

  • ACCHO
  • non-ACCHOs
    • state/territory/local health services
    • non-government organisations (NGOs) (a small proportion of services).

Information on organisations funded by the Australian Government under its Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme is available through the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPI) and Online Services Report (OSR) data collections.

Table HS 2 shows the number of Indigenous-specific primary health care organisations reporting to the OSR.

Table HS 2: Number of Indigenous-specific primary health care organisations, by state and territory and organisation type, 2020–21

 

ACCHO

Non-ACCHO

Total

New South Wales/ Australian Capital Territory

34

3

37

Victoria/Tasmania

23

2

25

Queensland

26

2

28

Western Australia

17

6

23

South Australia

10

3

13

Northern Territory

14

51

65

Total

124

67

191

Source: AIHW 2022a.

Of the 191 Indigenous-specific primary health organisations that submitted data to the OSR in 2020–21:

  • 65% (or 124 organisations) were ACCHOs, and 35% (or 67) were non-ACCHO
  • 34% (or 65) were in the Northern Territory
  • Most were in Very remote areas (36%), while followed by Inner regional (20%) and Outer regional (also 20%) areas.

For more information see OSR – organisaitions.

Hospital services

In 2020–21, there were 697 public hospitals in Australia (AIHW 2022b). These hospitals contained 63,330 available beds, or a rate of 2.46 beds per 1,000 population (AIHW 2022b). 

For an interactive version of this map, see the AIHW’s MyHospitals My Local Area.