Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework (HPF) 2012

Table 53—Changes to the HPF*

The HPF was designed to measure the impact of the National Strategic Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (NSFATSIH) and will be an important tool for developing the new National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan (NATSIHP).

Page last updated: 15 November 2012

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New measures

  • Cancer
    Cancer mortality has been increasing and is now the second most common cause of mortality for Indigenous Australians.
  • Eye health
    Vision loss impacts a person's social functioning and life chances. There is a significant disparity of vision loss and eye disease between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.
  • Cultural competency
    The cultural competency of health services impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' decisions on whether to use the service, and in turn, on health outcomes. The NT Department of Health, in collaboration with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Standing Committee# (NATSIHSC) and the National Advisory Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Information and Data (NAGATSIHID), have recently developed a framework for measuring cultural competency which will be implemented over time in the HPF.
  • Access to alcohol and drug services
    Treatment services which reduce alcohol and other drug use can significantly improve the overall health and wellbeing of those experiencing harm from alcohol and substances.Top

Deleted measures

  • Median age at death
    Comparisons of Indigenous and non-Indigenous median age at death are severely impacted by the very different age distributions of these two populations. Additionally, median age at death does not necessarily change significantly as mortality levels change. Modelling has shown that for Indigenous Australians, a two-year increase in the median age at death over five years would require a 30% decrease in the mortality rates, but the same increase in the median age at death for non-Indigenous Australians would mean only a 15% decrease in mortality (Coory et al. 2003).
  • Maternal mortality
    Social and policy relevance is limited due to the small numbers involved (six Indigenous maternal deaths in 2003–05). Limited numbers also creates difficulty in interpreting trends.
  • Dependency ratio
    The Census data do not allow counting of non-Indigenous parents where the child has both Indigenous and non-Indigenous parents, thus exaggerating the Indigenous youth dependency ratio.
  • Single-parent families
    The social and policy relevance of this measure is limited due to the different composition of families in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander society. While the term 'sole parent' might describe parental status, it does not adequately describe residential or domestic arrangements in Indigenous Australian families.
  • Unsafe sexual practices
    Australian surveys on sexual health do not include Indigenous samples and therefore data relating to Indigenous Australians are insufficient for analysis.

Combined measures

  • Infant and child mortality (infant mortality + sudden infant death syndrome [SIDS])
    A new combination of infant mortality and child mortality rates will better reflect the COAG Closing the Gap child mortality target. The social and policy relevance of SIDS as a separate measure has been affected by significant declines in Indigenous SIDS deaths.
  • Housing (overcrowding in housing + housing tenure type)
    The combination of over crowding in housing, housing tenure type and homelessness data allows a more integrated analysis of housing issues for Indigenous Australians.Top

*The information in this chapter is not presented in the table layout that the printed version provides, in order to ensure accessibility standards are met.
#Formerly known as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Officials Network (NATSIHON)