* The top 4 drugs that led clients to seek treatment were alcohol (32% of treatment episodes), cannabis (23%), amphetamines (23%), and heroin (6%).
* The proportion of episodes where clients were receiving treatment for amphetamines has continued to rise over the 5 years to 2015-16, from 12% of treatment episodes in 2011-12 to 23% in 2015-16.
* The median age of clients in AOD treatment services is rising, from 31 in 2006-07 to 33 in 2015-16.
Media release: More Australians seeking drug treatment-amphetamine treatment more than doubles.
Download report: Alcohol and other drug treatment services in Australia 2015-16.
This review provides detailed information on the extent of illicit drug use among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including overall self-reported prevalence and prevalence by type of substance. It outlines the health and social and emotional wellbeing harms associated with substance use, as well as the associated hospitalisations, mortality, and wider social impacts.
Download: Illicit Drug Use (e-book).
In 2015-16, about 33.4 million non-admitted patient service events were provided by 604 public hospitals, including:
* 15.3 million service events in allied health and/or clinical nurse specialists clinics;
* 9.7 million service events in medical consultation clinics;
* 2.6 million service events in procedural clinics.
Download report: Non-admitted patient care 2015-16: Australian hospital statistics
Media release: Cancer impacting Australia's health more than any other group of diseases
In 2015-16, at least four out of five Australians in all PHN areas rated their health positively, yet the percentage of Australians reporting a long-term health condition ranged from 43% to 63% across PHN areas. Australians also reported differences in accessing healthcare services due to cost across PHN areas in 2015-16, with cost barriers nearly three times as high in some areas compared with others.
Download Web update: Patient experiences in Australia in 2015-16.
Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2015-16 focuses on local-level immunisation rates for 5 year old children, which have improved nationally and in most local areas over five years. It also includes latest results for children aged 1, 2 and 5 years. Rates are presented for the 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas, more than 300 smaller local areas and around 1500 postcodes across Australia. Rates are also presented for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Types of care examined include hysterectomy, cataract surgery, knee replacement and potentially preventable hospitalisations for selected conditions, including diabetes complications.
The Atlas has been jointly developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care with analyses completed by the AIHW.
Media release: Second Atlas highlights opportunities for healthcare improvement.
It is not enough just to evaluate, government must actually use the findings from evaluations to improve service delivery. Unfortunately, many government agencies ignore evaluations when making funding decisions or implementing new programs.
Analysis of 49 Indigenous program evaluation reports, found only 3 used rigorous methodology. Overall, the evaluations were characterised by a lack of data and the absence of a control group, as well as an overreliance on anecdotal evidence.
Adopting a co-accountability approach to evaluation will ensure that both the government agency funding the program and the program provider delivering the program are held accountable for results. An overarching evaluation framework could assist with the different levels of outcomes expected over the life of the program and the various indicators needed to measure whether the program is meeting its objectives. Feedback loops and a process to escalate any concerns will help to ensure government and program providers keep each other honest and lessons are learnt.
Evaluating Indigenous programs: a toolkit for change.
* The average age of service users was 35, and around three-quarters (72%) were aged under 50.
* 43% of service users had an intellectual or learning disability, 42% had a physical or diverse disability, 29% had a psychiatric disability, and 18% had a speech or sensory difficulty.
* Almost one-third (30%) of service users aged 15 and over were not in the labour force. Of those in the labour force, two-thirds (67%) were unemployed.
* Two-thirds of service users had an informal carer, most often their mother (73%). Around one in eight (12%) service users had an informal carer who was aged 65 and over.
Download report: Disability support services: services provided under the National Disability Agreement 2015-16
The main report is accompanied by three fact sheets:
Disability in Australia: changes over time in inclusion and participation in community living.
Disability in Australia: changes over time in inclusion and participation in employment.
Disability in Australia: changes over time in inclusion and participation in education.
The report's key findings recommend actions to improve mental health outcomes of remote and rural Australians:
1. Stronger recognition in the Fifth National Mental Health Plan of the significant barriers and challenges, including the large geographic and travel distances, that are faced by those in remote and rural areas when seeking to access comprehensive mental health services, as well as consideration of how these can be overcome;
2. Implementation of innovative service models, including consideration of further use of RFDS infrastructure to deliver necessary, appropriate, and more comprehensive mental health and suicide prevention services, more often; and
3. Appropriate resourcing by all levels of governments, to provide more long-term funding certainty.
* The decline in the daily smoking rate slowed in 2016 but there were more Australians never taking up smoking.
* Fewer people exceeded the lifetime risk guidelines for alcohol use but no change in the proportion exceeding the single occasion risk guidelines.
* Overall illicit drug use remained stable but use of some drugs declined.
* Australians now perceive methamphetamines to be the drug of most concern to the community and was the drug most likely to be associated with a 'drug problem'.
Media release: Teenage smoking and drinking down, while drug use rises among older people.
Download web report: National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NDSHS) 2016 key findings.
National Key Performance Indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care
This 4th national report on the national Key Performance Indicators (nKPIs) data collection is based on data from more than 240 primary health care organisations that received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health to provide services primarily to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Information is presented for 22 'process-of-care' and 'health outcome' indicators for June 2016, which focus on maternal and child health, preventative health, and chronic disease management. The report shows continuous improvements for the majority of indicators.
Download report: National Key Performance Indicators for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations: Online Services Report-key results 2015-16
This is the 8th national report on organisations funded by the Australian Government to provide health services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. In 2015-16:
* 204 organisations provided primary health-care services to around 461,500 clients through 5.4 million client contacts and 3.9 million episodes of care.
* 216 counsellors from 93 organisations provided social and emotional wellbeing services to around 18,900 clients through 88,900 client contacts.
* 80 organisations provided substance-use services to around 32,700 clients through 170,400 episodes of care.
Download report: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health organisations: Online Services Report-key results 2015-16.
To support the AHMAC/PM&C report, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2017, the AIHW is releasing:
* A dynamic data visualisation display that provides a report-card overview of each performance measure, and includes options for displaying detailed, customisable charts
* Online data tables covering a wide range of data for each measure.
The supplementary detailed statistical analysis (dynamic data displays with interactive charts and online tables), is available on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website.
Previous HPF reports and further background information can be accessed from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework page on the Department of Health website.
Previous AIHW detailed analyses can be accessed at the AIHW website.