Healthy Communities: Australians' experiences with access to health care in 2011–12 - Technical Supplement - Examining relationships between access and need

Healthy Communities: Australians' experiences with access to health care in 2011–12

Examining relationships between access and need

Healthy Communities: Australians experiences with access to health care in 2011–12 allows for the public, clinicians and health managers to see how healthy and less healthy Australian populations access GPs, dental and specialist services, pharmaceuticals, emergency departments and hospitals.

Throughout the report, access is compared to need by considering access to health care against the proportion of the adult population with a long- term health condition. In particular, analyses were conducted that looked at the relationship between GP attendances and GP benefits paid against prevalence of long-term health conditions as well as potential years of life lost (PYLL).*

Figure 3 shows the relationship between the prevalence of a long-term health condition and PYLL. Most of the relationship between these was attributable to a geographic cohort effect, with Metropolitan Medicare Local catchments typically having a lower prevalence of long-term health conditions and lower rates of PYLL than Regional and Rural Medicare Local catchments.

Table 2 examines the relationship between access and need as measured by these two health measures to illustrate that key findings remain the same.

Key findings:

  • the statistical relationship between need, either PYLL or prevalence of a long-term health condition, and GP use, is consistently weak. This is true when looking at GP use expressed as either average attendances or average benefits paid. As can be expected, a comparison of the GP use of people with long- term health conditions and those without a long-term health condition indicates that those with a long-term health condition had a higher GP attendance rate in the previous 12 months
  • the direction of the relationship was not consistently positive or negative. Differences were seen across broad peer groups (e.g. all metropolitan peer groups compared to all regional peer groups) as well as within broad peer groups (e.g. Metro 1 peer groups compared to Metro 3 peer groups)
  • age standardising GP use data did not materially improve the relationships.

The prevalence of long-term health conditions is calculated based on the population aged 15 years and older. Adjusting GP use data to the equivalent age cohort was found to have no material impact on the strength or direction of the relationships.

Figure 3: Strength of relationships between access to health care and need for health care, comparing potential years of life lost (PYLL) 2011 and long-term health conditions 2011–12, by Medicare Local catchment

Graph showing the strength of relationships between access to health care and need for health care, comparing potential years of life lost in 2011 and long-term health conditions 2011-12, by Medicare Local catchment.

The following link expands the table data. Show tabular data Hide tabular data
Location Grouping Medicare Local PYLL per 100,000 population aged 0–74 Proportion of adult population with a long term health condition
Metro Eastern Sydney 3330.9 37.5
Metro Inner West Sydney 3571.3 33.9
Metro Northern Sydney 2760.6 42.3
Metro Sydney North Shore and Beaches 2562.8 38.6
Metro Inner North West Melbourne 3113.1 42.7
Metro Bayside 3183.5 41.6
Metro Inner East Melbourne 2680.2 41.6
Metro Australian Capital Territory 2938 40.6
Metro South Eastern Sydney 2718.7 37.6
Metro South Western Melbourne 3333.7 41.7
Metro Eastern Melbourne 3186.4 44.8
Metro Metro North Brisbane 3578.6 40.6
Metro Greater Metro South Brisbane 3838.4 43.5
Metro Gold Coast 3799.9 38.6
Metro Central Adelaide and Hills 4040.4 46.4
Metro Southern Adelaide - Fleurieu - Kangaroo Island 3672.1 49
Metro Perth Central and East Metro 3458.4 41.1
Metro Perth North Metro 2883.2 42.6
Metro Fremantle 3454.1 39.4
Metro Bentley - Armadale 3383.6 40.6
Metro South Western Sydney 3699.3 45.9
Metro Western Sydney 3414 41.7
Metro Macedon Ranges and North Western Melbourne 3773.7 45.1
Metro Northern Melbourne 3469.6 42.5
Metro South Eastern Melbourne 3672.6 37.4
Metro West Moreton - Oxley 4575.9 49
Metro Northern Adelaide 4181 48.7
Regional Nepean - Blue Mountains NP NP
Regional Central Coast NSW 4526.7 57.5
Regional Illawarra - Shoalhaven 4431.2 51.8
Regional Hunter 4654 53.3
Regional Frankston - Mornington Peninsula 4398.1 44.9
Regional Barwon 4396.4 44.3
Regional Sunshine Coast 3887.5 53.1
Regional Perth South Coastal 4266.4 49.2
Regional North Coast NSW 4868.3 51
Regional New England 5825 47.2
Regional Western NSW 5862 50.7
Regional Murrumbidgee 4934.6 52.2
Regional Southern NSW 4508 46.1
Regional Grampians 5019.3 53.3
Regional Great South Coast NP NP
Regional Loddon - Mallee - Murray 5161.8 57.6
Regional Goulburn Valley 5018.2 52.1
Regional Hume 4594.2
Regional Gippsland 4969.9 48.3
Regional Darling Downs - South West Queensland 5044.4 51.6
Regional Wide Bay NP NP
Regional Country South SA 4788.7 60.2
Regional South West WA 4712.3 45
Regional Tasmania 4629.5 51.6
Rural Far West NSW NP NP
Rural Lower Murray NP NP
Rural Central Queensland 4438.9 40.7
Rural Townsville - Mackay 4743.8 39.4
Rural Country North SA 5355.7 48.2
Rural Central and North West Queensland NP NP
Rural Far North Queensland 5788.1 49.8
Rural Goldfields - Midwest 5715.9 43.8
Rural Kimberley - Pilbara NP NP
Rural Northern Territory 7446.2 40.7

NP Not available for publication

* PYLL is measured as potential years of life lost per 100,000 population aged 0-74.

Table 2: Strength of relationships between access to health care and need for health care, comparing potential years of life lost (PYLL) 2011 and long-term health conditions 2011–12, by Medicare Local catchment

PYLL per 100,000 population Long-term health conditions
R2 (relationship) R2 (relationship)
GP attendances – Crude 0.1709 (negative) 0.0116 (positive)
All Metro 0.1541 (positive) 0.0413 (positive)
Metro 1 0.2504 (positive) 0.1950 (negative)
Metro 2 0.0011 (positive) 0.0037 (positive)
Metro 3 0.3341 (negative) 0.0512 (negative)
All Regional 0.1465 (negative) 0.0984 (positive)
Regional 1 0.3057 (negative) 0.2233 (positive)
Regional 2 0.0003 (positive) 0.1517 (positive)
All Rural 0.1991 (negative) 0.1769 (positive)
GP attendances – Age-standardised 0.1862 (negative) 0.0054 (negative)
All Metro 0.2211 (positive) 0.0249 (positive)
Metro 1 0.4764 (positive) 0.2766 (negative)
Metro 2 0.0008 (negative) 0.0014 (negative)
Metro 3 0.3071 (negative) 0.0857 (negative)
All Regional 0.1421 (negative) 0.0706 (positive)
Regional 1 0.4235 (negative) 0.1253 (positive)
Regional 2 0.0017 (positive) 0.1531 (positive)
All Rural 0.3793 (negative) 0.1145 (positive)
GP benefits – Crude 0.1286 (negative) 0.0114 (positive)
All Metro 0.1285 (positive) 0.0322 (positive)
Metro 1 0.2162 (positive) 0.1345 (negative)
Metro 2 0.0300 (positive) 0.0134 (positive)
Metro 3 0.3817 (negative) 0.0327 (negative)
All Regional 0.1578 (negative) 0.0964 (positive)
Regional 1 0.2089 (negative) 0.2681 (positive)
Regional 2 0.0013 (negative) 0.1097 (positive)
All Rural 0.0593 (negative) 0.2954 (positive)
GP benefits – Age-standardised 0.1365 (negative) 0.0091 (negative)
All Metro 0.2024 (positive) 0.0184 (positive)
Metro 1 0.4661 (positive) 0.2319 (negative)
Metro 2 0.0097 (positive) 0.0003 (positive)
Metro 3 0.4042 (negative) 0.0756 (negative)
All Regional 0.1642 (negative) 0.0741 (positive)
Regional 1 0.4425 (negative) 0.1966 (positive)
Regional 2 0.0000 (positive) 0.1124 (positive)
All Rural 0.1526 (negative) 0.2224 (positive)

* PYLL is measured as potential years of life lost per 100,000 population aged 0-74.