Age and gender differences in ambulance utilisation in Queensland

Toloo, Sam, Fitzgerald, Gerald, Rego, Joanna, Tippett, Vivienne, & Quinn, Jamie (2010) Age and gender differences in ambulance utilisation in Queensland. In ACEM 27th Annual Scientific Meeting, 21-25 November 2010, Canberra, ACT. (Unpublished)



Queensland has the highest ambulance utilisation (150 per 1000 population) in Australia and growing 4.4% annually. However, the impact of gender and age on utilisation is unknown.

Methods & Materials

Data on ambulance utilisation from Queensland Ambulance Service for the period 2002-2009 were analysed.


Between 2002 and 2009, the number of ambulance patients per 1000 population increased overall by 17% (females) and 18% (males). The utilisation rate remained highest among the elderly but grew differently across age groups. For females, the rates were 55% (0-14yo), 73% (15-29yo), 38% (30-44yo), 22% (45-59yo), -9% (60-74yo) and -6% (75,+ yo); for males they were 48%, 59%, 38%, 17%, -13% and -2% respectively.

Within the same age groups and period, the population adjusted number of males per 100 females (M:F ratio) changed from 134 to 128 (-5% growth), 98 to 91 (-8%), 101 to 100 (-0.4%), 115 to 111 (-3%), 114 to 108 (-5%) and 106 to 111 (4%).


Understanding the impact of patients’ demographic profiles on service utilisation and broader effects on the emergency health system is imperative for policy-making, demand management, designing public health campaigns and health promotions.

Gender and age characteristics of ambulance users in Queensland appear to be changing most noticeably in the youngest and oldest groups. Physical and mental health, attitudinal, lifestyle, parenting, financial and socio-cultural reasons may account for these trends, but little evidence exists. A theoretical framework will be discussed to contextualise the findings.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 40191
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified (111799)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 17 Feb 2011 22:24
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2015 04:12

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