Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander presentations to three Victorian emergency departments

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) people have significant health disparity compared with other Australians. The present study examines the characteristics of ATSI patients presenting to three EDs of a single healthcare network to determine whether any healthcare disadvantages exist. METHODS: This is a retrospective audit of 179 795 presentations to the ED from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012. Measures included socioeconomic status, general practitioner nomination, triage category status, primary diagnosis recorded, length of stay and the outcome of stay, including numbers leaving before and after medical treatment was commenced. RESULTS: ATSI people were found to live in the lower socioeconomic regions of the network s catchment area, were more likely to attend the ED (135.5 non-ATSI persons presenting per 1000 non-ATSI persons and 210.4 ATSI persons presenting per 1000 ATSI persons), less likely to nominate a general practitioner (73.3 vs 82.1 ; OR 0.60, 95 CI 0.51-0.71), more likely to leave before (5.5 vs 4.0 ; OR 1.40, 95 CI 1.09-1.80) or after treatment had commenced (3.2 vs 2.3 ; OR 1.43, 95 CI 1.03-1.97), and were more likely to re-attend the ED than non-ATSI people (OR 1.24, 95 CI 1.06-1.46). CONCLUSION: ATSI people living in Melbourne s south-east have social and health utilisation inequities, which might have an impact on their health status.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-579
Number of pages7
JournalEmergency Medicine Australasia
Volume25
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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