Planning and Evaluating Health Services in the State of Cook

Since health services’ planning involves projecting data into the future, the data presented below is based on the assumption that the current trends would continue. Therefore service planners need to take into account external factors that can significantly change the projections.Population projections and other ABS data related calculations for the states have been made using Australian Bureau of Statistics (Series B) projections since it largely reflects the current trends in fertility and life expectancy at birth. In this paper, the states of Queensland and NSW will be referred to as North Cook and South Cook respectively.Some of the data presented in this paper is only an approximation and may not be accurate because data from two sources may have been combined. Secondly there are differences in the way data is reported by NSW and Queensland.Cook state is located on the eastern side of Australia and comprises of the states previously known as NSW and Queensland. The mainland area of Cook state is about 2,524,564 square kilometres with an additional 6,726 square kilometres in islands.1 Therefore Cook state has a total area of 2,531,290 square kilometres (Figure 1).Australia is estimated to have a population of 22,569,765, while Cook state is estimated to have a population of 11,862,769.2 Therefore Cook state accounts for almost 52.6% of the country’s population.The population of Cook is a growing population with 76% of the population within the 15- 64 years age group and a median age of 37 years (Table 1 Graph 2). Currently, there are 100 women for every 99 men in the state.The population density of North Cook is approximately 2.6 people per sq km while that of South Cook is approximately 8.9 people per square km.3 The population density is low across most of the regions within Cook state and has been found to gradually increase to as high as 340 people per sq km in Brisbane and 370 people per sq km in Sydney (Figure 2 3).