Health and Disability
The Health and Disability Program provides information about aspects of the health of Australia’s population, and about health related services. This includes statistics relating to health status (including causes of death), patient experiences, disability, health risk factors and impacts on sub-groups within the population.
Statistics on health and disability describe an important aspect of wellbeing, which can impact on people’s capacity to participate in the labour force, and more broadly in the community. Changes in the levels of health measures, such as health conditions, risk factors, and disability, can inform both the development of interventions for prevention and care, and the need for related services over time. These statistics support the policy development, program delivery and evaluation of key government and non-government agencies involved in health, community and family services. They provide information on the impacts of programs and service provision, and can be used to assess areas of unmet need. They are heavily used in research related to health and community issues.
Clients of the program include Australian government agencies including the Departments of: Health and Ageing; and Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, State and Territory government agencies, academic and research institutions, social welfare organisations providing health and disability services and the general public.
The program produces a range of outputs including: frameworks and standards; information development plans; statistics and associated Confidentialised Unit Record Files (CURFs); information/ technical papers; guides and analytical articles.
Specifically, the outputs of the program include:
- information on the health status of the population which focus on particular conditions, risk factors outcomes and population groups
- information on causes of death based on the International Classification of Diseases – Version 10 (ICD-10) published annually in Causes of Death, Australia (ABS cat. no. 3303.0)
- information on the interaction of health services and their clients through the Patient Experience Surveys, Health Services: Patient Experiences in Australia (ABS. cat. no. 4839.0)
- information on the structure and operations of the Private Hospital Sector through the Private Hospitals Expenditure Collection
- information on the nature and extent of disability and associated needs for care and support, as well as the circumstances of carers
- provision of expertise, advice and data in supporting performance monitoring for a range of government activities – Council of Australian Governments (COAG) National Healthcare and Disability Agreements, Report on Government Services, National Health Performance Framework
- advice and contributions to key government advisory groups on health and disability information.
The main medium-term developments in the program are to:
- analyse the results from the 2011–12 Patient Experience Survey – results due November 2012
- redevelop the 2013-14 Patient Experience survey – due March 2013
- conduct the 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers – from mid-2012
- redevelop the 2015 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers – due mid-2015
- analyse first results from the Australian Health Survey – from October 2012
- undertake the Australian Health Survey, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander wave – from April 2012
- undertake long-term planning for the next rounds of the Australian Health Survey – during 2012-13
- contribute to the development and implementation of the World Health Organisations’ International Classification of Diseases – Version 11, for use in mortality and morbidity coding in Australia– ongoing
- support the development of performance indicators for the revised COAG National Healthcare Agreement, the National Health Reform Performance Framework, the National Health Performance Authority and the Australian National Health Prevention Agency – ongoing
- facilitate the publication and distribution of causes of death information in consultation with the Australian Co-ordinating Registrar and State and Territory Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages– ongoing .
Health and Disability Branch
Health and Vitals Unit