Australia’s health 2018 marks the 16th biennial flagship report on health that the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released since it was established in 1987.
This latest national report card continues the trend of providing independent, trusted and timely information to the wide range of Australians who use it—the community, policymakers, service providers and researchers. Australia’s health 2018 examines health using a person-centred approach—this takes the view that a person’s health is part of a broader social context and encompasses the ideas that health:
- is an important part of how people feel and function
- contributes to, and is influenced by, social and economic wellbeing
- can exist in degrees of good, as well as poor, health and varies over time.
The report profiles our health status and use of health services, and takes an in-depth look at topical health issues, including the contribution of risk factors to disease burden; how the health of the population is linked to the natural environment; and the factors contributing to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity in our community. Other featured topics include mesothelioma—Australia has one of the highest diagnosis rates in the world for this cancer—and the increasing harm caused by the use of both pharmaceutical and illegal opioids.
The series of feature articles accompanies a collection of short statistical snapshots that outline the leading types of illness, risk factors, health behaviours, and the services available to help prevent and treat ill health.
The report also contains a breadth of information on the health—and health inequalities—experienced by some population groups, including Indigenous Australians; Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; Australian veterans; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians; and Australians living in rural and remote areas.
The AIHW manages a number of national health information assets, and works with state and territory governments, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, other independent bodies and the non-government sector, to ensure that the data included in Australia’s health 2018 are comprehensive, accurate and timely.