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Potential primary health care savings for chronic disease care associated with Australian Aboriginal involvement in land management


  • Campbell, David
  • Burgess, Christopher Paul
  • Garnett, Stephen Thomas
  • Wakerman, John


Rationale To identify the possible savings in the cost of primary health care of chronic disease associated with the participation by Aboriginal people in land management. In so-doing we investigate the connection of health of Aboriginal people and the extent of their involvement in land management in remote-very remote Australia.Methods Possible savings in primary care costs for hypertension, renal disease and diabetes were estimated using multivariate regression to examine associations between Aboriginal involvement in land management and Northern Territory Government-defined chronic disease outcomes, controlling for socio-demographics and health behaviours. Participants were 298 Aboriginal adults aged 15-54 from a remote Aboriginal community, classified by their chronic disease status and a previously validated measure of self-reported participation in land management activities.Results Land management participants were significantly less likely to have diabetes, renal disease or hypertension. Using the sampled mean value of engagement in land management, we found the expected net annual savings for the community from involvement in land management of $268,000. This equates to a net present value of primary health care savings in chronic disease care for the sampled community over 25 years of $4.08 million. This estimate does not include further savings in other primary health conditions nor costs anticipated in referred and hospital-based health care for chronic disease.Conclusion While the association between involvement in land management and better health requires further clarification, our findings indicate that significant and substantial primary health care cost savings may be associated with greater participation in land management activities. These estimated savings are in addition to the market and non-market economic benefits of a healthier population and environmental benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • Campbell, David & Burgess, Christopher Paul & Garnett, Stephen Thomas & Wakerman, John, 2011. "Potential primary health care savings for chronic disease care associated with Australian Aboriginal involvement in land management," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 83-89, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:99:y:2011:i:1:p:83-89

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Baeza, Juan & Bailie, Ross & Lewis, Jenny M., 2009. "Care for chronic conditions for indigenous Australians: Key informants' perspectives on policy," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(2-3), pages 211-217, October.
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    4. Cass, Alan & Cunningham, Joan & Snelling, Paul & Wang, Zhiqiang & Hoy, Wendy, 2004. "Exploring the pathways leading from disadvantage to end-stage renal disease for Indigenous Australians," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 767-785, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alfred Dockery, 2016. "A Wellbeing Approach to Mobility and its Application to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 243-255, January.
    2. Zander, Kerstin K. & Dunnett, Desleigh R. & Brown, Christine & Campion, Otto & Garnett, Stephen T., 2013. "Rewards for providing environmental services — Where indigenous Australians' and western perspectives collide," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 145-154.
    3. repec:eee:ecoser:v:18:y:2016:i:c:p:154-164 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Pinkerton, Evelyn, 2015. "The role of moral economy in two British Columbia fisheries: Confronting neoliberal policies," Marine Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 410-419.


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