Australian hospital statistics 2009-10 and Australia's hospitals 2009-10 at a glance (AIHW)

Australian hospital statistics 2009-10

Australian hospital statistics 2009-10 presents a detailed overview of Australia's 1,326 public and private hospitals. In 2009-10, there were 8.5 million separations from Australia's hospitals including: 4.8 million same-day acute separations; 3.5 million overnight acute separations; almost 337,000 non-acute separations. There were 7.4 million presentations to public hospital emergency departments, with 70% of patients seen within the recommended times for their triage categories.

Media release

Australia's hospitals 2009-10 at a glance

Australia's hospital 2009-10 at a glance provides summary information on Australia's 1,320 public and private hospitals. This publication is a companion to the annual Australian hospital statistics 2009-10 publication.

The Easter bunny and the chocolate conspiracy

Nathan J. Grills has published "The Easter Bunny and the chocolate conspiracy," a  tongue-in-cheek look at the public health aspects of Easter, in this week's Medical Journal of Australia.  He writes, "The Easter Bunny (EB) has been popularised and exploited by chocolate manufacturers and other companies selling this energy-dense, nutrient-poor (EDNP) food. Since when did bunnies lay eggs made of chocolate? Is this a conspiracy to sell lucrative chocolate eggs?  I have argued that Santa Claus is a public health pariah who advertises unhealthy products to children and normalises obesity, but what about the EB — is this bunny an innocent fairytale character or another unhealthy childhood role model?"

MJA 2011; 194 (8): 410-412

Immunise Australia Program

The Immunise Australia Program aims to increase national immunisation rates by funding free vaccination programs, administering the Australian Childhood Immunisation register and communicating information about immunisation to the general public and health professionals. The website provides a range resources including: information about the program, FAQs, the immunisation program schedule, A-Z of diseases and programs; publications and resources.

Annual Alcohol Poll: Community Attitudes and Behaviours

Since 2010, the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation (AER Foundation) has conducted annual nation-wide polling to determine community attitudes and behaviours relating to alcohol. Key objectives include:

• Determining community attitudes towards alcohol in Australia;
• Gaining an understanding of self-reported alcohol consumption patterns in Australia
• Determining current perspectives on various alcohol-related policies.

Dental attendance patterns and oral health status (AIHW)

40% of Australian adults visit the dentist at least once a year for a check-up while nearly 30% visit infrequently and usually for a dental problem. Those with an unfavourable pattern of dental attendance had more than 3 times the level of untreated decay and 1.6 times more teeth missing due to dental disease than those with a favourable pattern of attendance. They were also more likely to report avoiding or delaying dental care due to the cost and being very afraid or distressed when making a dental visit.

Media release


Mental health experts warn of a suicide epidemic in rural areas as farmers struggle with summer of natural disasters

POST-traumatic stress caused by Queensland's summer of disasters has created a suicide epidemic in farming communities, according to Rural Mental Health Australia. Rural Mental Health spokesman Mr Pycroft said natural disasters, coming on top of other difficulties like financial hardship, led to an increase in depression and suicide in farming communities.

Battling mental illness tweet by tweet

Mental health advocates have started twittering in an effort to improve mental health support for people in rural areas. The fortnightly Twitter chats have been initiated as a way to battle the stigma associated with mental illness in the bush and help come up with ideas for improving mental health services. "It's effectively a discussion forum where literally anyone will be able to discuss issues that are affecting rural Australia in regards to mental health," said Chris Pycroft, co-founder of the project.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Project

The aim of Health Workforce Australia's (HWA) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker project is to identify how the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker (or 'Health Worker') workforce can be strengthened to deliver care in response to the known burden and distribution of disease in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

Women, Health and Ageing - New Results from Longitudinal Study on Women in their 80s

The latest major report from the ongoing Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health has been released. The report, Women, health and ageing: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, includes information and analysis from the fifth survey over time on the same set of 40,000 women drawn from three age groups.

While some descriptive information about trends in health from all age cohorts is included in the current report, the focus of analyses is on data collected from the oldest cohort, who were born between 1921 and 1926, and are now aged 85 to 90 years.

The report reveals that ischaemic heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability for women aged 65 and older. Among women aged 65-74, type 2 diabetes and breast cancer are the next two highest causes, while dementia and stroke are the next two highest causes of death and disability among women over age 75. Many conditions such as dementia, sensory impairments and falls, do not have a greater age specific incidence among women, but because women live longer they tend to account for the greatest proportion of people with these conditions, particularly at advanced ages. Other findings include:

* only 9% of the women were engaging in high levels of physical activity and another 4% were engaging in very high levels, suggesting that these levels may not be obtainable for most women in this age range
* moderate and high levels of physical activity were associated with lower risk of falls among women aged 70-75 years
* very high levels of physical activity were associated with reduced odds of fractures among women aged 70-75 years.

Media release

Trends in serious injury due to land transport accidents, Australia (AIHW)

Trends in serious injury due to land transport accidents, Australia presents trends of serious non-fatal injury due to land transport accidents in Australia over the period 2000-01 to 2007-08 with a focus on road vehicle traffic crashes. Over the 8-year period, age-standardised rates for persons seriously injured due to a road traffic crash increased from 138.4 to 153.4 per 100,000 population. Over one-quarter (28%) of those seriously injured due to a road traffic crash sustained life-threatening injuries. Drivers of motor vehicles, motor cyclists and pedal cyclists all recorded significant increases in age-standardised rates of life-threatening injury over this period. For males aged 45-64 years, the combined total of high threat to life injuries due to motorcycle and pedal cycle road traffic crashes as a percentage of all high threat to life injuries due to road traffic crashes rose from almost 30% in 2000-01 to 50% in 2007-08.

Media release

The community guide to the UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples

The Australian Human Rights Commission has developed several resources to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to understand and protect their rights.

The colourful overview and community guide on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples aims to bring the Declaration to life by highlighting existing examples of Indigenous peoples' rights in action.