” The over-representation of males and Indigenous Australians in aeromedical transports for CVD, compared with females and non-Indigenous Australians, is unacceptable.
It suggests that prevention, early intervention and ongoing treatment for people with CVD should target all remote and rural males and Indigenous Australians of all ages.
The data shows that Indigenous patients were picked up from a wide spatial distribution but with a focus on Queensland and some specific centres including Rockhampton and Alice Springs.
That suggests early intervention, prevention and treatment services should be prioritised in these areas.”
This latest RFDS publication is a valuable addition to the data available for policy decisions : Download HERE
CVD is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among Indigenous Australians : See Part 2 below
The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) is one of the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisations in the world. It provides primary health care through general practice and nursing clinics to people in remote and rural Australia who are beyond reasonable access to medical infrastructure in more urbanised areas.
In 2016–17, the RFDS delivered 5,615 general practice clinics to 37,689 patients and 3,429 nursing clinics to 18,909 patients.
The RFDS has established a Research and Policy Unit whose role is to gather evidence about, and recommend strategies for improving health outcomes and health service access for patients and communities cared for by RFDS programs.
This latest publication is a valuable addition to the data available for policy decisions. https://bit.ly/2HImal9
The research indicates there is an opportunity for the RFDS to review its data collection procedures and to develop a national data collection policy. This would enable better reporting of programs, facilitate direct comparisons of data across Australia, and enable better assessment of outcomes, and evaluations of, RFDS delivered programs.
More specifically, the RFDS has an opportunity to review its own data collection processes to ensure all relevant data around aeromedical transports are collected.
Data linkage between the RFDS and state, territory and national clinical datasets has commenced and as linkages grow, longitudinal data on patients initially transported by the RFDS, and treated in hospital for CVD, will enable the RFDS to access comprehensive information on a patient’s prognosis, treatment, recovery, and rehabilitation.
Data linkage with local service providers that operate in areas where the RFDS delivers services, such as local GPs, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations or local hospitals would also assist in providing a more complete picture of the health outcomes of people from remote and rural Australia.
Part 2 : 3.4 CVD in Indigenous Australians
“CVD is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among Indigenous Australians. It is more common in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, and occurs at much younger ages compared to the non-Indigenous population” (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016b, p. 157) (Figure 3.8).
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2016b, p. 159).
Figure 3.8 demonstrates that in 2011 the burden from CVD among Indigenous Australians was low in childhood but increased rapidly from about age 30 (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016b).
Specifically, CHD and stroke contributed significantly to the burden of CVD from age 40 onwards (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016b).
The burden from CHD peaked at around ages 45–54, and then declined (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016b). The burden from stroke peaked at around ages 50–64, and then declined (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016b).
In 2011, CVD burden was greater in Indigenous males than females (58% versus 42%), but this varied by type of CVD disease (Figure 3.9) (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016b).
“Indigenous males experienced the majority of burden from aortic aneurysm (77%), hypertensive heart disease (72%) and CHD (67%), whereas Indigenous females experienced the majority of burden due to peripheral vascular disease (68%), rheumatic heart disease (61%), and stroke (58%)” (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016b, p. 160).