Information in the report on access to antenatal care in the first trimester is intended to measure the effectiveness of health care services delivered in primary health care and other related maternity service settings.
An antenatal visit is an encounter between a pregnant woman and a midwife or doctor that is specifically intended to assess and improve maternal and fetal wellbeing throughout pregnancy and prior to labour and is important for positive child health outcomes.1
By comparison, measures of infant and young child mortality, the proportion of babies that are of low birthweight and the proportion of women who smoke during pregnancy are reported as population health measures to provide context to local areas.
The report presents national information for the following measures at the local level for the calendar year periods shown:
- Infant and young child mortality rates in 2010–2012
- Percentage of all live singleton births in 2009–2011 that were of low birthweight
- Percentage of all live singleton births in 2007–2011 to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women that were of low birthweight
- Percentage of women who gave birth in 2009–2011 and smoked during pregnancy
- Percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who gave birth in 2007–2011 and smoked during pregnancy
- Percentage of women who gave birth in 2010–2011 and had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester of pregnancy
- Percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who gave birth in 2010–2011 and had at least one antenatal visit in the first trimester of pregnancy.
The methods used to calculate each of these measures are described in this technical supplement.
All measures are presented by Medicare Local catchment and seven clusters of Medicare Local catchments called peer groups. This enables fairer comparisons of individual Medicare Local catchments and also provides a summary of the variation across Australia’s diverse metropolitan, regional and rural populations by presenting aggregate results for each peer group.
The Authority identified seven peer groups on the basis of:
- Proximity of each Medicare Local to major metropolitan areas (using the ABS Australian Standard Geographic Classification, 2006 Remoteness Structure)
- Proximity to major hospitals (A1 public hospitals in the AIHW Public Hospital Peer Group classification, 2010–11)
- Socioeconomic status.
More information on Medicare Local peer groups can be found in Healthy Communities: Australians' experiences with primary health care in 2010–11, Technical Supplement.
Suppression of estimates
The Authority applies suppression protocols that are customised to each data source used in the report, to ensure confidentiality when reporting at local levels of geography. The suppression rules for the measures presented in Healthy Communities: Child and maternal health in 2009–2012 are described in this technical supplement.
1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. National Health Data Dictionary version 16. 2012 Sep 6 [cited 2014 May 29]; Cat. no. HWI 119. Available from: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publicationdetail/?id=10737422826