Results of Mid North health report

Risk factor data summary: percentage of Mid North respondents (16+ years).
Risk factor data summary: percentage of Mid North respondents (16+ years).

The truth is out and unfortunately it is not what you want to hear!

We are smoking too much, not eating enough fruit and veg and do not have enough facilities to support the rising mental health needs. 

Country SA PHN’s latest health report has been released and you might want to grab an apple to snack on whilst you read it.

The latest health report has revealed the Mid North region has the highest levels of diabetes, asthma and lowest fruit intake for the state. 

The recent NEEDS Assessment Data Report found 13.4 per cent of Mid North respondents had diabetes and 17.5 per cent had asthma. 

This was in comparison to the 4.6 per cent of diabetics in Adelaide Hills and 10.9 per cent of Lower North asthmatics.

As high rates for many health conditions appear throughout the Mid North, the national priority focus for primary health networks remains the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, aged care, alcohol and other drugs problems, mental health, the health workforce and the health of the overall population. 

Outcomes of the NEEDS assessment report additionally found that chronic disease rates in country South Australia are above the state average.

The Mid North was also recognised for high rates of respiratory diseases, arthritis and osteoporosis.

The report stressed that their main focus is the accumulative health of the population.

It suggests that the general health of South Australians is highly influenced by risk factors, but notes that these factors can and should be easily changed.

“Moreover, the interrelated nature of socioeconomic determinants, risk factors, and health status suggests that acting on any one of the principal needs identified in this report will positively impact on other needs, state or unstated”, the report stated.

The identified risk factors especially for the Mid North region were the increasing smoking rates and alcohol intake.

Approximately 26.4 per cent of Mid North respondents are smokers, the highest in the state compared to 9.2 per cent of the population in the Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island area. 

A key finding of the data was the lack of mental health facilities in the Mid North. 

Mental health is a high priority for public health networks and the results for South Australia were disturbingly variable. 

For every 100,000 people in the Mid North only 3.6 psychologists are available. 

This is in comparison to the 52.1 psychologists available to every 100,000 people in the Gawler- Two Wells region. 

These figures are distinctively different yet both are still below the national average of 90.1 psychologists per 100,000 people.

The Country SA PHN report states that whilst there is a connection between socioeconomic status and health, a connection too exists between mental disorders and substance use.

“Mental disorders and substance use frequently occur together and can interact negatively on one another. While this is commonly known, a specific gap became apparent with regard to drug and alcohol and mental health comorbidity and relevant service provision within our current data streams”, the report said.

The report has concluded that the Lower North, Mid North and Yorke Peninsula regions have some of the highest rates of metal illness.

The most utilised forms of treatments are mental health nurses and prescription medication. 

There is a clear connection between the Mid North’s lack of mental health facilities, the rising mental health problems and the rise of risk factors including alcohol, smoking and insufficient physical activity. 

Other results of the data can be found via the Country SA PHN Assessment Report. 

Mental health summary: percentage of regional respondents (16+ years).

Mental health summary: percentage of regional respondents (16+ years).