Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Catalogue Number
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
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   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product
MEDIA RELEASE
28 November 2014
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)
164/2014

Regional and remote Australians face more health care barriers

People living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas of Australia were more likely to face barriers to accessing health care compared with people living in major cities. These barriers include cost and long waiting times, according to new figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"In 2013-14, nearly one in three people living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas waited longer than they felt acceptable to get an appointment with a GP compared with just over one in five in major cities " said Louise Gates from the ABS.

Visits to GPs
Around 14.9 million people aged 15 years and over (82 per cent) visited a GP at least once in the previous 12 months.

"Of those who needed to see a GP in the previous 12 months, 1 in 20 (five per cent) delayed seeing or did not see a GP because of the cost.

“People living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas were more likely to delay seeing or not see a GP due to cost than those living in major cities (six per cent compared with four per cent),” said Ms Gates.

"Of those who saw a GP for urgent medical care, nearly two thirds (64 per cent) were seen by a GP within four hours of making an appointment.

“People living in major cities were more likely to be seen within four hours than those living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas (67 per cent compared with 61 per cent)."

Visits to dental professionals
50 per cent of all Australians aged 15 and over had visited a dental professional in the previous 12 months. People living in major cities were more likely to visit a dental professional compared with people living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas (51 per cent compared with 44 per cent).

"One in five people (20 per cent) who needed to see a dental professional in the previous 12 months delayed seeing or had not seen one because of the cost.

“People living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas were more likely to delay seeing or not see a dental professional due to cost (25 per cent) compared with those living in major cities (18 per cent)." said Ms Gates.

Visits to emergency departments (ED)
Around 2.6 million people aged 15 years and over (14 per cent) visited the ED at least once in the previous 12 months.

"Those living in outer regional, remote and very remote areas were more likely to visit the ED compared with those living in major cities (20 per cent compared with 13 per cent)." said Ms Gates.

When asked the main reason they went to an ED instead of a GP, just under half reported that they were taken by ambulance (49 per cent) and around one quarter (23 per cent) said a GP was not available when required. Those living in outer regional, remote and very remote areas were more likely to report a GP not available when required compared with those living in major cities (33 per cent compared with 19 per cent).

Further information can be found in Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings, 2013–14 (cat. no. 4839.0) available for free download from the ABS website

Media note: When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.


Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window

Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.