Inequitable use of health services for Indigenous mothers who experience stillbirth in Australia.
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Birth, 2022, 49, (2), pp. 194-201
- Issue Date:
|Birth - 2021 - Callander - Inequitable use of health services for Indigenous mothers who experience stillbirth in Australia.pdf||Published version||503.33 kB|
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OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to identify differences in health service expenditure on Indigenous and non-Indigenous women who experience a stillbirth, women's out-of-pocket costs, and health service use. METHODS: The project used a whole-of-population linked data set called "Maternity1000," which includes all women who gave birth in Queensland, Australia, between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2018 (n = 396 158). Multivariable analysis was undertaken to assess differences in mean health service expenditure; and number of health care services accessed between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women who had a stillbirth from birth to twelve months postpartum. Costs are presented in 2019/20 Australian dollars. RESULTS: There was a total of 1864 babies stillborn to women in Queensland between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2018, with 135 being born to Indigenous women and 1729 born to non-Indigenous women. There was significantly lower total expenditure per woman for Indigenous women compared with non-Indigenous women ($16 083 and $18 811, respectively). This was consistent across public hospital inpatient ($12 564 compared with $14 075), outpatient ($1127 compared with $1470), community-based services ($198 compared with $313), pharmaceuticals ($8 compared with $22), private hospital ($434 compared with $1265), and for individual out-of-pocket fees ($21 compared with $86). Mean expenditure on emergency department services per woman was higher for Indigenous women compared with non-Indigenous women ($947 compared with $643). Indigenous women who experienced a stillbirth accessed fewer general practitioners, allied health, specialist, obstetrics, and outpatient services, and fewer pathology and diagnostic test than their non-Indigenous counterparts. CONCLUSIONS: Inequities in access to health services exist between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women who experience a stillbirth.
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