Respiratory and cardiovascular conditions are among the Murrumbidgee's biggest concerns when it comes to preventable hospitalisations.
A person's likelihood of having a preventable hospitalisation varies by where they live, and their individual circumstances, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, Disparities in potentially preventable hospitalisations across Australia 2012-13 to 2017-18, shows that 748,000, or about one in 15, hospital admissions were classified as potentially preventable in 2017-18.
The report showed that, in recent years, there has been an increase in potentially preventable hospitalisations, largely driven by influenza.
Alison Koschel, the senior manager population health planning and data for the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network, said reducing the number of preventable hospitalisations was a priority.
"It is influenced a little by where you live. It's probably influenced a lot more by lifestyle and risk factors," Dr Koschel said.
She said the high prevalence of respiratory and cardiac issues were due to the "high prevalence of risk factors" like obesity or smoking.
"Patients have to be very proactive in this area themselves. A general practitioner can give you a message that you have a risk factor and you should reduce that risk factor, but ultimately that patient has to actually take some personal responsibility for want to change that risk factor," Dr Koschel said.
"They have those risks, not because they want to, but for many reasons. They may have low incomes, which means access to good, nutritious food is difficult for them."
Dr Koschel said social and demographic factors like education and employment also influenced people's risk factors.
"It might be a lack of knowledge. You might say 'OK, people understand and know that they shouldn't smoke', but do they have the right knowledge around what things they could to stop smoking?" she said.
"All of those things influence the risk factors, which then influence all of those potentially preventable hospitalisations for the chronic diseases which result from those chronic diseases."
Dr Koschel said helping to reduce the incidence of preventable hospitalisations could be helped by ensuring people were aware of, and had access to, services, as well as clear health messages.
AIHW spokesman Richard Juckes said potentially preventable hospitalisations were admissions to hospital that might have been avoided through preventive care like vaccination, or appropriate disease management, such as treatment of infections or management of chronic conditions, in the community.
The most common cause of potentially preventable hospitalisations was chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, while vaccine-preventable pneumonia and influenza, and congestive cardiac failure accounted for the most days of hospital care.
People aged 65 years and over accounted for almost half - 46 per cent - of all potentially preventable hospitalisations, and children made up 13 per cent.