2-9

2-9. Childhood developmental health checks

Introduction

2-9-1. Childhood developmental health checks

2-9-2. Aboriginal childhood developmental health checks

Sources

 

Introduction

Fourth year developmental health assessments are available to children under the Australian Government's Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS)...

The Healthy Kids Check is available to children aged 3 or 4 years, while the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Health Assessment item is available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of all ages. The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 3 to 5 years who received the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Health Assessment is reported as a proxy for the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who received a fourth year developmental health assessment. The proportion of other children who received either a Healthy Kids Check (at the age of 3 or 4 years), or a Health assessment at the age of 5 years, is reported as a proxy for the proportion of other children who received a fourth year developmental health assessment.

Fourth year developmental health assessments are intended to assess children's physical health, general wellbeing and development. They enable identification of children who are at high risk for, or have early signs of, delayed development and/or illness.

 

2-9-1. Childhood developmental health checks

  • In 2014-15, well over half (57.8%) of South Australian children in the target population had received a fourth year developmental health check ("Healthy Kids Check").1
  • Over the last four years of comparable data, South Australia's rate has been increasing, and now sits slightly above the national average of 57.6%.1
  • Of the states and territories, South Australia ranks third highest for proportion of children in the target cohort who received a fourth year developmental Health Kids Check.1

 

Children receiving a Health Kids Check, 2014-15
Region % of target
popn.
Metropolitan Adelaide n.a.
Country SA n.a.
South Australia 57.8%
Australia 57.6%

2-9-1 SA

Data source: Productivity Commission 2016

_


Children receiving a Health Kids Check, 2014-15
State/Territory % of target
popn.
Victoria 28.2%
Northern Territory 34.8%
Aust. Capital Territory 48.9%
Western Australia 52.1%
Tasmania 57.2%
South Australia 57.8%
New South Wales 70.7%
Queensland 78.1%
Australia 57.6%

2-9-1 AU

Data source: Productivity Commission 2016

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2-9-2. Aboriginal childhood developmental health checks

  • In 2014-15, over half (55.9%) of Aboriginal children in South Australia in the target cohort had received a fourth year developmental health check ("Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Health Check").1
  • Over the last four years of comparable data, South Australia's rate has been increasing, but is still well below the national average rate (80.9%).1
  • South Australia is ranked third lowest of the states and territories for proportion of Aboriginal children in the target cohort receiving fourth year developmental Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Health Checks.1

 

Children receiving an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Health Check, 2014-15
Region % of target
popn.
Metropolitan Adelaide n.a.
Country SA n.a.
South Australia 55.9%
Australia 80.9%

2-9-2 SA

Data source: Productivity Commission 2016

_


Children receiving an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Health Check, 2014-15
State/Territory % of target
popn.
Tasmania 13.8%
Victoria 52.3%
South Australia 55.9%
Aust. Capital Territory 62.7%
Western Australia 71.9%
New South Wales 73.5%
Queensland 100.1%*
Northern Territory 124.8%*
Australia 80.9%

2-9-2 AU

Data source: Productivity Commission 2016

* For Queensland and the Northern Territory in 2014-15, data for the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who received a health check exceeds 100 per cent...

This is largely because numerator and denominator are not directly comparable — children are eligible to receive this health assessment at the age of 3, 4 or 5 years. However, a child is eligible to receive it once only (children may also be eligible for other health checks) — hence, the denominator uses population estimates and projections for a single year of age — 4 years. Using this methodology, the total number of children aged 3, 4 and 5 years who received a check in 2014-15 exceeds the derived population of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 4 years.


Sources

  1. Based on Productivity Commission 2016, 'Volume E: Health, Chapter 10, Primary and community health, Attachment tables, Table 10A.34 Proportion of children receiving a fourth year developmental health check, by type of health check (per cent),' Report on Government Services 2016, Government of Australia, Canberra, viewed 10 March 2016.