Performance indicators, which are simply variables that help to measure change, have been highly contentious in the area of Aboriginal health. This discussion paper focuses on the introduction of performance indicators for Aboriginal Health Services by the former Department of Aboriginal Affairs and subsequent attempts by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) to implement their collection. This paper addresses some of the difficulties implicit in the way in which performance indicators have been linked to funding allocations, and the difficulties experienced by Aboriginal community-controlled health services in providing the data requested. Often the data requested in the past have not been relevant either to monitoring performance, or to assessing health status. The paper examines conceptual problems associated with indicators, and makes overall policy recommendations.
ISBN: 0 7315 1755 5