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Health services

Indigenous-specific 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 2020–21, among Indigenous Australians:

  • 27% (236,610) had an Indigenous-specific health check.
  • Across states and territories, Queensland had the highest rate of Indigenous-specific health checks (with 34% of Indigenous Australians receiving an Indigenous-specific health check), followed by the Northern Territory (32%). Victoria had the lowest rate (14%).
  • 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 33% in Outer regional and also 33% in Remote areas. Very remote areas were the exception to this general pattern, with a rate of 25% (Figure HS 1).

For more information see Indigenous health checks and follow-ups.

Figure HS 2 in shows that while the proportion of Indigenous Australians who had an Indigenous-specific health check fell in 2019–20 and 2020–21, there was an increase in health checks carried out through telehealth.