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The cost-effectiveness of primary care for Indigenous Australians with diabetes living in remote Northern Territory communities

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In reply: I acknowledge that data from community controlled health services were not included in our study.1 The high mobility of this population is well recognised and is most common between related communities.2 The bulk of primary care services in remote Northern Territory communities are provided through the 54 government clinics, and we have captured the movement between those services in our dataset. The lesser degree of movement between government and community controlled clinics3 would not have substantively affected our results or our conclusions.

We used propensity score matching4 to improve comparability of the low, medium or high primary care use groups. As shown in the Box, we adjusted for key confounders (age, sex, number of chronic diseases) and found no statistically significant differences between groups. All communities in this study were geographically classified as remote or very remote5 and were similar in terms of their SEIFA (Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas) score.6 Other factors raised by Whyatt and colleagues, including social acceptability and the behaviour of health care providers, may well have significant influence on decisions to use primary care services and,…