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4839.0 - Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings, 2013-14 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/11/2014 Released Today  
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KEY FINDINGS


This publication presents information from the 2013-14 Patient Experience Survey, which is the fifth in the series. Where possible, time series results comparing data from previous years to the 2013-14 cycle are available.

The ABS Patient Experience Survey is conducted annually and collects data on access and barriers to a range of health care services, including general practitioners (GPs), medical specialists, dental professionals, imaging and pathology tests, hospital admissions and emergency department visits. It includes data from people that accessed health services in the previous 12 months, as well as from those who did not, and enables analysis of health service information in relation to particular population groups. Data are also collected on aspects of communication between patients and health professionals.

Data on patient experience is of value to both users of health services as well as those aiming to improve the health system. High quality health care leads to better health outcomes, and barriers to accessing health services may impede the best possible outcome. The availability of GPs, impact of varying levels of service and the coordination of health care are all important factors in ensuring an accessible, high quality health care system for all Australians.

At the national level, the results showed that:

GPs:

  • Eight in ten (82.2%) people saw a GP in the previous 12 months. Females were more likely than males to see a GP (87.3% compared with 76.8%).
  • One in twelve (8.1%) saw an after hours GP in the previous 12 months.
  • One in five (22.6%) who saw a GP waited longer than they felt acceptable to get an appointment with a GP.
  • One in twenty (4.9%) who needed to see a GP delayed or did not go because of the cost.

Medical specialists:
  • One in three (36.2%) people saw a medical specialist in the previous 12 months. Females were more likely than males to see a medial specialist (39.1% compared with 33.2%).
  • The proportion of people who saw a medical specialist generally increased with age. Around one in five people (23.1%) aged 15-24 years saw a medical specialist in the previous 12 months, compared with one in two aged 75 years and over (58.9%).
  • One in four (25.0%) who saw a medical specialist waited longer than they felt acceptable to get an appointment with a medical specialist.
  • One in twelve (7.9%) who needed to see a medical specialist delayed or did not go because of the cost.

Dental professionals:
  • One in two (49.7%) people saw a dental professional in the previous 12 months. Females were more likely than males to see a dental professional (53.2% compared with 46.0%).
  • Of those who had seen a dental professional in the previous 12 months, 1 in 6 (16.6%) had received public dental care. Those aged 15-24 were the most likely to receive public dental care (24.5%).
  • One in five (20.1%) who needed to see a dental professional delayed or did not go because of the cost. People aged 25-44 were most likely to delay or not go because of the cost (27.4%).

Hospitals and Emergency Departments
  • One in eight (12.8%) people were admitted to hospital in the previous 12 months. As with other health services, females were more likely than males to have been admitted to hospital (14.4% compared with 11.2%).
  • One in seven (14.3%) people had visited an emergency department (ED) for their own health in the previous 12 months.
  • Of those who went to the ED, one in five (21.6%) thought the care could have been provided by a general practitioner.

Coordination of health care
  • One in six (16.1%) people saw three or more health professionals for the same condition.
  • Of those who saw three or more health professionals for the same condition, seven out of ten (69.3%) reported that a health professional helped coordinate their care. The health professional most likely to coordinate care was a GP, followed by a medical specialist.
  • Among those who saw three or more health professionals for the same condition, one in seven (14.3%) reported that there were issues caused by a lack of communication between the health professionals.


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Commonwealth of Australia 2014

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