Healthy Communities: Australians' experiences with primary health care in 2010–11 - Report - Key findings

Healthy Communities: Australians' experiences with primary health care in 2010–11

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Key findings

Differences between Medicare Locals across Australia

What do Australians think about their own health?

In 2010–11, most Australians considered themselves to be in good health. The percentage of Australians within each Medicare Local catchment who reported a health status of excellent, very good or good varied from 91% to 81% nationally.

These results mean the percentage of adults who reported their health as fair or poor was twice as high in some Medicare Local catchments compared to others, ranging from 19% to 9% nationally (See green and orange highlights in Table 1, Table 2 and How do Australians rate their health in the Health status section).

Use of primary health care services

For many people, GPs are the first point of access to the health care system. In 2010–11, variations were seen across Australia in the use of GPs and use of GP after-hours services.

The percentage of adults who visited a GP at least once in the preceding year varied across Medicare Local catchments nationally, from 88% to 71%.

There was large variation in the annual number of visits to GPs per person, and in Medicare Benefits expenditure on GP visits per person. Annual visits were three times higher in some Medicare Local catchments than in others, ranging from 7.3 to 2.3 attendances per person in 2010–11, and from 7.4 to 2.4 in 2011–12. Expenditure ranged from $302.95 to $104.81 in 2010–11 and from $321.03 to $114.39 in 2011–12.

There was also a large variation across Medicare Local catchments in the use of GP after-hours services, and expenditure on GP after-hours attendances.

Nationally, the number of after-hours GP attendances ranged from 0.71 to 0.03 in 2010–11, and from 0.79 attendances to 0.05 in 2011–12. Similarly, Medicare Benefits expenditure ranged from $36.18 to $2.15 per person in 2010–11, and from $42.11 to $3.35 in 2011–12. However, it is not fair to compare after-hours GP care between metropolitan and regional/rural areas because in some regional and rural areas care may be provided through other services such as hospitals.

In the three metropolitan peer groups, annual visits ranged from 0.71 visits per person to 0.14 visits per person nationally in 2010–11, and from 0.79 to 0.15 in 2011–12. Expenditure ranged from $36.18 to $8.20 in 2010–11, and from $42.11 to $9.62 in 2011–12.

The variations were larger in the two regional and two rural peer groups. In the two regional peer groups, the number of after-hours visits per person was eight times higher in some areas compared to others (ranging from 0.40 visits per person to 0.05 visits in 2010–11, and in 2011–12), while in the two rural peer groups, the number of visits was up to 12 times higher (ranging from 0.36 visits per person to 0.03 visits in 2010–11, and from 0.42 to 0.05 in 2011–12) (Table 1, Table 2 and Use of primary health care section).

Information on Australians' use of primary health care in 2010–11 and 2011–12 is presented in the Use of primary health care, Experiences with primary health care, Supplementary data: Use of primary health care and Supplementary data: Experiences with primary health care sections.

Data are presented at the Medicare Local area level and for more than 300 smaller geographic areas.

Experiences with primary health care

The percentage of patients who had seen a GP in the preceding 12 months and who felt they waited longer than acceptable to get an appointment varied across Medicare Local catchments nationally, from 28% to 8%, indicating large variations in timeliness of access.

Most adults in Australia said they had access to a preferred GP, but again this varied across Medicare Local catchments, from 95% to 78%.

There was also a large variation in the affordability of care between different Medicare Local populations, ranging from 15% to 3% across Medicare Local catchments nationally. This means that Australians living in some Medicare Local catchments were five times more likely to report delays in seeing a GP, or not seeing a GP due to cost, compared to Australians living in other Medicare Local catchments.

For most patients, experiences with GPs are positive, and most patients feel their GP listened to them. The percentage of patients who thought their GP always or often listened carefully varied across Medicare Local catchments nationally, from 96% to 83% (Experiences with primary health care section).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and experiences with primary health care

The Authority's activities are guided by a document called the Performance and Accountability Framework agreed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) as part of national health reform. The framework contains 48 indicators that form the basis for the Authority's reports. All indicators where possible will be reported by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous status.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Patient Experience Survey 2010–11 examined in this report surveyed approximately 400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and 26,000 non-Indigenous people. This represents 1.5% of all respondents, compared with 2.4% of the estimated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.3 People living in very remote areas or discrete Indigenous communities were excluded from the survey.

These limitations to the data in sample size and survey scope were considered by the Authority when interpreting the survey results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Accordingly, while responses from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are included in the results presented in this report, they are not presented separately.

The Authority will be investing in improvements to the data to be able to report into the future nationally on local experiences with primary health care among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Data that were available are outlined below.

What do Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples think about their health?

In the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS), 44% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over reported their health as being very good or excellent, 34% reported their health as good, and 22% reported their health as poor or fair. People were twice as likely as non-Indigenous Australians to report their health as poor or fair after accounting for differences in age structure between these populations.4

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' use of primary health care

In 2009–10, primary health care service use was similar for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians approximately 5.63 and 5.55 services per person respectively). However, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had a higher rate of long and complex consultations compared with non-Indigenous Australians.5

In 2010–11, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care services provided 2.5 million episodes of health care to about 428,000 clients nationally, most of whom were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.6

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' experiences with health care

In the 2008 NATSISS, 26% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples aged 15 years and over reported problems with accessing health services. Access issues were higher in remote areas (36%) than non-remote areas (23%).

There were a range of barriers identified to accessing health services including in rank order:

  • Waiting time too long/not available at time requested
  • Not enough services in area
  • No services in area
  • Transport/distance
  • Cost of service
  • Don't trust services
  • Services not culturally appropriate.4

Reading the data

Tables 1 and 2 below set out a summary of Australians' health, use and experiences with primary health care across all Medicare Locals in Australia. They identify Medicare Local catchments where people have more desirable and less desirable experiences nationally.

Results for each measure

Look down the columns to see results on each measure for each Medicare Local population. Results for the Medicare Local(s) with the most desirable experiences for each measure are highlighted in green, while the Medicare Local(s) with the least desirable experiences are highlighted in orange.

None of the patient experience results in the Rural 2 peer group are highlighted as either most or least desirable, because more than 5% of the population in each Medicare Local in this peer group are in very remote areas, which were not included in the Patient Experience Survey 2010–11. This explains why the ranges of highest and lowest in the Differences between Medicare Locals within peer groups section, and on the maps in the Use of primary health care section and Experiences with primary health care section, appear wider than suggested by the green and orange highlights in Tables 1 and 2 below.

The two tables must be read together to see a national picture, which is why a column in one table may have only one result highlighted, or none at all. In these cases, the highlights will be present in the corresponding column in the other table.

Results by peer group

Look along the horizontal coloured bars to see the overall result among all the Medicare Local populations in each peer group.

Results for Medicare Local

Look along the rows to see the result for each Medicare Local population.

About the peer groups

To enable fairer comparisons, we allocated each Medicare Local to one of seven peer groups, based on socioeconomic status, remoteness and distance to hospitals.

  • Metro 1: High urban density, higher socioeconomic status
  • Metro 2: Medium urban density, medium socioeconomic status
  • Metro 3: Low urban density, lower socioeconomic status
  • Regional 1: Outer urban areas, middle socioeconomic status
  • Regional 2: Mostly non-metro urban and regional areas, middle socioeconomic status
  • Rural 1: Distant from metro cities, with diverse socioeconomic status
  • Rural 2: Mostly large remote areas, middle or lower socioeconomic status.

To find more information about peer groups see Technical Supplement.

Key findings: summary tables

Table 1: Australians' use of primary health care in metropolitan Medicare Locals, by Medicare Local peer group1, 2010–11

Medicare Local Health status Use of primary health care Experiences with primary health care
Adults who rated health excellent, very good or good (%) Adults who saw a GP in previous year (%) Average number of GP attendances per person (n) Average number of GP after-hours attendances per person (n) Adults who reported:
Waiting too long for a GP appointment (%) Having a preferred GP (%) Cost barriers to seeing a GP (%) Their GP listened carefully2 (%)
Metro 1 89% 80% 5.1 0.33 13% 82% 8% 91%
Australian Capital Territory 89% 83% 4.0 0.24 20%# 81% 15%# 88%#
Bayside 91% 79% 4.9 0.29 11% 81% 7% 92%
Eastern Sydney 89% 77% 5.0 0.29 14% 80% 8% 96%#
Inner East Melbourne 88% 81% 5.1 0.34 10% 87%# 8% 94%
Inner NW Melbourne 89% 79% 5.2 0.33 19%# 81% 8% 91%
Inner West Sydney 87% 78% 6.0 0.44 12% 80% 5%# 89%
Northern Sydney 87% 85%# 5.2 0.32 12% 89%# 8% 92%
Sydney North Shore & Beaches 91% 81% 4.8 0.33 10% 81% 8% 89%
Metro 2 87% 81% 5.1 0.32 13% 82% 9% 89%
Bentley-Armadale 90% 78%# 4.2 0.16 15% 83% 8% 87%
Central Adelaide & Hills 87% 84%# 5.2 0.36 13% 82% 7%# 91%
Eastern Melbourne 88% 82% 5.4 0.34 14% 80% 8% 91%
Fremantle 90% 83% 4.3 0.14 19%# 79% 10% 91%
Gold Coast 83%# 80% 5.8 0.51 10%# 82% 13% 89%
Greater Metro South Brisbane 88% 80% 5.4 0.36 12% 79%# 10% 86%#
Metro North Brisbane 85% 82% 5.1 0.27 8%# 85% 11% 91%
Perth Central & East Metro 88% 80% 4.2 0.14 15% 82% 6%# 89%
Perth North Metro 90%# 78% 4.4 0.15 16%# 81% 14%# 91%
South Eastern Sydney 87% 83% 6.1 0.39 9%# 83% 6% 92%
South Western Melbourne 88% 84% 5.5 0.71 15% 80% 3%# 86%
Sthn Adelaide-Fleurieu-Kangaroo Is. 85% 83% 5.6 0.39 19%# 86%# 10% 88%
Metro 3 84% 83% 6.5 0.55 14% 83% 6% 88%
Macedon Ranges & NW Melb 83% 85% 6.0 0.45 24%# 78% 9% 83%#
Northern Adelaide 82% 85% 5.9 0.46 15% 80% 6% 89%
Northern Melbourne 85% 80% 6.1 0.62 14% 86% 6% 91%
South Eastern Melbourne 84% 84% 6.1 0.55 13% 87%# 6% 88%
South Western Sydney 84% 83% 7.3 0.60 11%# 83% 4%# 89%
West Moreton-Oxley 84% 84% 5.7 0.36 10% 84% 10%# 90%
Western Sydney 85% 83% 7.0 0.65 12% 82% 4% 89%
Results and Maps How do Australians rate their health Seeing a GP section GP attendances section GP after-hours attendances section Waiting times for GP appointments section Having a preferred GP section Cost barriers to seeing a GP section Experiences with GPs: listened section

 Medicare Locals with the most desirable experiences nationally

 Medicare Locals with the least desirable experiences nationally

 Highest3 use of primary health care nationally

 Lowest3 use of primary health care nationally

1. For more information on Medicare Local peer groups see Reading the data or Technical Supplement.

2. For more information on whether adults thought their GP showed respect and spent enough time with them, see Experiences with GPs: showed respect, Experiences with GPs: spent enough time and Specialist referrals by GPs sections.

3. Higher use does not directly relate to more desirable experiences, and may be impacted by variation in need for services.

# Statistically different (at the 95% level) from the peer group percentage. Statistical difference was not calculated for the average number of GP attendances per person or average number of GP after-hours attendances per person.

Note: Medicare Locals with the highest and lowest results have been highlighted, however due to sampling error on estimates derived from the Patient Experience Survey 2010–11, other Medicare Locals may have statistically similar results. See the 95% confidence intervals on the national overviews. For more information see Technical Supplement.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics, Patient Experience Survey 2010–11.
  • Department of Human Services Medicare Benefits statistics 2010–11 and ABS Estimated Resident Population 30 June 2011.

Table 2: Australians' use of primary health care in regional and rural Medicare Locals, by Medicare Local peer group1, 2010–11

Medicare Local Health status Use of primary health care Experiences with primary health care
Adults who rated health excellent, very good or good (%) Adults who saw a GP in previous year (%) Average number of GP attendances per person (n) Average number of GP after-hours attendances per person (n) Adults who reported:
Waiting too long for a GP appointment (%) Having a preferred GP (%) Cost barriers to seeing a GP (%) Their GP listened carefully2 (%)
Regional 1 86% 85% 5.6 0.25 21% 83% 10% 90%
Barwon 87% 88% 5.1 0.31 21% 80% 9% 89%
Central Coast NSW 84% 84% 5.7 0.23 25% 84% 13% 91%
Frankston-Mornington Peninsula 89% 86% 5.3 0.26 16%# 82% 12% 90%
Hunter 87% 84% 5.2 0.20 25%# 83% 10% 90%
Illawarra-Shoalhaven 86% 82% 5.9 0.31 26% 87% 12% 90%
Nepean-Blue Mountains 88% 84% 6.4 0.40 17% 89%# 7%# 93%
Perth South Coastal 82% 82% 4.8 0.12 20% 79% 11% 88%
Sunshine Coast 86% 87% 6.2 0.19 12%# 80% 6%# 90%
Regional 2 83% 81% 5.0 0.12 19% 82% 8% 89%
Country South SA 83% 80% 4.8 0.14 22% 79% 9% 84%
Darling Downs-SW Qld 81% 78% 4.9 0.17 21% 82% 7% 88%
Gippsland 85% 82% 5.6 0.13 23% 78% 4%# 87%
Goulburn Valley 81% 83% 5.5 0.24 16% 83% 11% 90%
Grampians 85% 84% 5.2 0.23 15% 81% 8% 91%
Great South Coast NP 85% 4.9 0.15 10% 85% 5% 92%
Hume 83% 84% 4.5 0.07 24%# 78% 7% 87%
Loddon-Mallee-Murray 82% NP 5.0 0.13 NP 84% 11% 88%
Murrumbidgee 83% 82% 4.9 0.06 17% 81% 13% 84%
New England 84% 78% 4.2 0.05 28% NP 4% 86%
North Coast NSW 84% 84% 5.5 0.10 19% 84% 8% 89%
South West WA 89%# 80% 4.2 0.05 17% 78% 8% 90%
Southern NSW 87% 71%# 4.3 0.09 22% 84% 9% 95%#
Tasmania 81% 83% 4.9 0.11 18% 84% 10%# 90%
Western NSW 83% 84% 4.9 0.14 17% 81% 6% 92%
Wide Bay 85% 81% 5.8 0.10 15% 95%# 5% 92%
Rural 1 82% 81% 4.9 0.20 16% 77% 9% 87%
Central Qld NP 81% 4.9 0.16 18% NP 10% 84%
Country North SA 81% 78% 5.5 0.16 19% 80% 7% 88%
Far West NSW 75%# NP 5.0 0.18 NP NP NP NP
Lower Murray NP NP 5.5 0.19 NP 95%# 7% NP
Townsville-Mackay 86%# 81% 4.6 0.24 14% 78% 10% 89%
Rural 2 88% 76% 3.5 0.17 20% 67% 11% 85%
Central & NW Qld NP NP 3.5 0.10 NP NP NP NP
Far North Qld 87% 76% 4.6 0.36 26%# 70% 8% 84%
Goldfields-Midwest 89% 75% 3.4 0.03 10%# NP 8% 88%
Kimberley-Pilbara NP NP 2.3 0.03 NP NP NP NP
Northern Territory 87% 78% 2.9 0.11 18% 64% 16%# 83%
Results and Maps How do Australians rate their health Seeing a GP section GP attendances section GP after-hours attendances section Waiting times for GP appointments section Having a preferred GP section Cost barriers to seeing a GP section Experiences with GPs: listened section

 Medicare Locals with the most desirable experiences nationally

 Medicare Locals with the least desirable experiences nationally

 Highest3 use of primary health care nationally

 Lowest3 use of primary health care nationally

1. For more information on Medicare Local peer groups see Reading the data or www.nhpa.gov.auExternal link, opens in a new window.[http://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-statistics/health-welfare-overview/health-care-quality-performance/health-performance-overview]

2. For more information on whether adults thought their GP showed respect and spent enough time with them, see Experiences with GPs: showed respect, Experiences with GPs: spent enough time and Specialist referrals by GPs sections.

3. Excludes Medicare Locals with a †, except for the average number of GP attendances and GP after-hours attendances per person.

4. Higher use does not directly relate to more desirable experiences, and may be impacted by variation in need for services.

# Statistically different (at the 95% level) from the peer group percentage. Statistical difference was not calculated for the average number of GP attendances per person or average number of GP after-hours attendances per person.

This area has greater than 5% of its population in very remote areas which were not included in the scope of the Patient Experience Survey 2010–11. Therefore this area is not shaded green or orange.

NP Not available for publication.

Note: Medicare Locals with the highest and lowest results have been highlighted, however due to sampling error on estimates derived from the Patient Experience Survey 2010–11, other Medicare Locals may have statistically similar results. See the 95% confidence intervals on the national overviews. For more information see Technical Supplement.

Source:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics, Patient Experience Survey 2010–11.
  • Department of Human Services Medicare Benefits statistics 2010–11 and ABS Estimated Resident Population 30 June 2011.

Differences between Medicare Locals within peer groups

There was considerable variation on some measures between Medicare Local catchments within the same peer group.

How do Australians in different regions rate their own health?

In 2010–11, the Rural 1 peer group had the biggest range in terms of the percentage of adults who reported their health status as excellent, very good or good, while the Rural 2 peer group had the smallest range (Table 1, Table 2 and Health status section).

In the year before the establishment of Medicare Locals, the ranges within each of the metropolitan, regional and rural peer groups were:

  • Metro 1: from 91% for Sydney North Shore & Beaches and Bayside (Vic) to 87% for Inner West Sydney and Northern Sydney
  • Metro 2: from 90% for Perth North Metro, Fremantle (WA) and Bentley-Armadale (WA) to 83% for Gold Coast (Qld)
  • Metro 3: from 85% for Northern Melbourne and Western Sydney to 82% for Northern Adelaide
  • Regional 1: from 89% for Frankston-Mornington Peninsula (Vic) to 82% for Perth South Coastal
  • Regional 2: from 89% for South West WA to 81% for Tasmania, Goulburn Valley (Vic), Darling Downs-SW Qld
  • Rural 1: from 86% for Townsville-Mackay (Qld) to 75% for Far West NSW
  • Rural 2: from 89% for Goldfields-Midwest (WA) to 87% for Far North Qld and the Northern Territory.

Use of primary health care in different regions

Adults who saw a GP

In 2010–11, the Regional 2 peer group had the biggest range in terms of the percentage of adults who reported having seen a GP in the previous year, while the Rural 1 and Rural 2 peer groups had the smallest range (Table 1, Table 2 and Seeing a GP section).

In the year before the establishment of Medicare Locals, the ranges within each of the metropolitan, regional and rural peer groups were:

  • Metro 1: from 85% for Northern Sydney to 77% for Eastern Sydney
  • Metro 2: from 84% for South Western Melbourne and Central Adelaide and Hills to 78% for Perth North Metro and Bentley-Armadale (WA)
  • Metro 3: from 85% for Northern Adelaide and Macedon Ranges & NW Melbourne to 80% for Northern Melbourne
  • Regional 1: from 88% for Barwon (Vic) to 82% for Illawarra-Shoalhaven (NSW) and Perth South Coastal
  • Regional 2: from 85% for Great South Coast (Vic) to 71% for Southern NSW
  • Rural 1: from 81% for Central Qld and Townsville-Mackay (Qld) to 78% for Country North SA
  • Rural 2: from 78% for Northern Territory to 75% for Goldfields-Midwest (WA).
Number of GP attendances

In 2010–11, the Rural 2 peer group had the largest range in terms of the number of visits per person to a GP, while the Rural 1 peer group had the smallest range (Table 1, Table 2 and GP attendances, GP attendances, 2011-12, Expenditure on GP attendances, Expenditure on GP attendances, 2011-12 in the Use of primary health care section).

In the year before the establishment of Medicare Locals, the ranges within each of the metropolitan, regional and rural peer groups were:

  • Metro 1: from 6.0 attendances for Inner West Sydney to 4.0 for the Australian Capital Territory
  • Metro 2: from 6.1 attendances for South Eastern Sydney to 4.2 for Bentley-Armadale (WA) and Perth Central & East Metro
  • Metro 3: from 7.3 attendances for South Western Sydney to 5.7 for West Moreton-Oxley (Qld)
  • Regional 1: from 6.4 attendances for Nepean-Blue Mountains (NSW) to 4.8 for Perth South Coastal
  • Regional 2: from 5.8 attendances for Wide Bay (Qld) to 4.2 for New England (NSW) and South West WA
  • Rural 1: from 5.5 attendances for Country North SA and Lower Murray (Vic/NSW) to 4.6 for Townsville-Mackay (Qld)
  • Rural 2: from 4.6 attendances for Far North Queensland to 2.3 for Kimberley-Pilbara (WA)
Number of after-hours visits to a GP

In 2010–11, the Metro 2 peer group had the largest range in terms of the use of GP after-hours services per person, while the Rural 1 peer group had the smallest range (Table 1, Table 2 and GP after-hours attendances, GP after-hours attendances, 2011-12, Expenditure on GP after-hours attendances, Expenditure on GP after-hours attendances, 2011-12 in the Use of primary health care section).

In the year before the establishment of Medicare Locals, the ranges within each of the metropolitan, regional and rural peer groups were:

  • Metro 1: from 0.44 attendances for Inner West Sydney to 0.24 for the Australian Capital Territory
  • Metro 2: from 0.71 attendances for South Western Melbourne to 0.14 for Perth Central & East Metro and Fremantle (WA)
  • Metro 3: from 0.65 attendances for Western Sydney to 0.36 for West Moreton-Oxley (Qld)
  • Regional 1: from 0.40 attendances for Nepean-Blue Mountains (NSW) to 0.12 for Perth South Coastal
  • Regional 2: from 0.24 attendances for Goulburn Valley (Vic) to 0.05 for South West WA and New England (NSW)
  • Rural 1: from 0.24 attendances for Townsville-Mackay (Qld) to 0.16 for Country North SA and Central Qld
  • Rural 2: from 0.36 attendances for Far North Qld to 0.03 for Goldfields-Midwest and Kimberley-Pilbara (WA).

The number of after-hours visits to a GP (also known as GP after-hours attendances) includes only those funded under the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

Experiences with primary health care services in different regions

Adults' views on waiting times for a GP appointment

In 2010–11, the Regional 2 peer group had the biggest range in terms of the percentage of adults who waited longer than they felt acceptable to get an appointment with a GP in the preceding year, while the Rural 1 peer group had the smallest range (Table 1, Table 2, and Waiting times for GP appointments in the Experiences with primary health care section).

In the year before the establishment of Medicare Locals, the ranges within each of the metropolitan, regional and rural peer groups were:

  • Metro 1: from 20% in the Australian Capital Territory to 10% in Sydney North Shore & Beaches and Inner East Melbourne
  • Metro 2: from 19% in Southern Adelaide-Fleurieu-Kangaroo Island (SA) and Fremantle (WA) to 8% in Metro North Brisbane
  • Metro 3: from 24% in Macedon Ranges & NW Melbourne to 10% in West Moreton-Oxley (Qld)
  • Regional 1: from 26% for Illawarra-Shoalhaven (NSW) to 12% for Sunshine Coast (Qld)
  • Regional 2: from 28% for New England (NSW) to 10% for Great South Coast (Vic)
  • Rural 1: from 19% for Country North SA to 14% for Townsville-Mackay (Qld)
  • Rural 2: from 26% for Far North Queensland to 10% for Goldfields-Midwest (WA).
Adults who have a preferred GP

In 2010–11, the Regional 2 and Rural 1 peer groups had the biggest range in terms of the percentage of adults who reported having a preferred GP, while the Rural 2 peer group had the smallest range (Table 1, Table 2 and Having a preferred GP in the Experiences with primary health care section).

In the year before the establishment of Medicare Locals, the ranges within each of the metropolitan, regional and rural peer groups were:

  • Metro 1: from 89% for Northern Sydney to 80% for Eastern Sydney and Inner West Sydney
  • Metro 2: from 86% for Southern Adelaide-Fleurieu-Kangaroo Island to 79% for Fremantle (WA) and Greater Metro South Brisbane
  • Metro 3: from 87% for South Eastern Melbourne to 78% for Macedon Ranges & NW Melbourne
  • Regional 1: from 89% for Nepean-Blue Mountains (NSW) to 79% for Perth South Coastal
  • Regional 2: from 95% for Wide Bay (Qld) to 78% for Gippsland (Vic), Hume (Vic/NSW) and South West WA
  • Rural 1: from 95% for Lower Murray (Vic/ NSW) to 78% for Townsville-Mackay (Qld)
  • Rural 2: from 70% for Far North Queensland to 64% for the Northern Territory.
Adults who report avoiding or delaying seeing a GP due to cost

In 2010–11 the Metro 2 peer group had the biggest range in terms of the percentage of adults who reported avoiding or delaying in seeing a GP in the previous year due to cost, while the Rural 1 peer group had the smallest range (Table 1, Table 2 and Cost barriers to seeing a GP in the Experiences with primary health care section).

In the year before the establishment of Medicare Locals, the ranges within each of the metropolitan, regional and rural peer groups were:

  • Metro 1: from 15% for the Australian Capital Territory to 5% for Inner West Sydney
  • Metro 2: from 14% for Perth North Metro to 3% for South Western Melbourne
  • Metro 3: from 10% for West Moreton-Oxley (Qld) to 4% for Western Sydney and South Western Sydney
  • Regional 1: from 13% for Central Coast NSW to 6% for Sunshine Coast (Qld)
  • Regional 2: from 13% for Murrumbidgee (NSW) to 4% for New England (NSW) and Gippsland (Vic)
  • Rural 1: from 10% for Townsville-Mackay (Qld) and Central Qld to 7% for Lower Murray (Vic/NSW) and Country North SA
  • Rural 2: from 16% for Northern Territory to 8% for Far North Qld and Goldfields-Midwest (WA).
Adults' thoughts on how often GPs listened carefully

In 2010–11, the Regional 2 peer group had the largest range in terms of the percentage of adults who reported their GP always or often listened carefully in the preceding year, while the Regional 1, Rural 1 and Rural 2 peer groups had the smallest range (Table 1, Table 2 and Experiences with GPs: listened in the Experiences with primary health care section).

In the year before the establishment of Medicare Locals, the ranges within each of the metropolitan, regional and rural peer groups were:

  • Metro 1: from 96% for Eastern Sydney to 88% for the Australian Capital Territory
  • Metro 2: from 92% for South Eastern Sydney to 86% for Greater Metro South Brisbane and South Western Melbourne
  • Metro 3: from 91% for Northern Melbourne to 83% for Macedon Ranges & NW Melbourne
  • Regional 1: from 93% for Nepean-Blue Mountains to 88% for Perth South Coastal
  • Regional 2: from 95% for Southern NSW to 84% for Country South SA and Murrumbidgee
  • Rural 1: from 89% for Townsville-Mackay (Qld)to 84% for Central Qld
  • Rural 2: from 88% for Goldfields-Midwest (WA) to 83% for the Northern Territory.

3. ABS Estimated Resident Population at 30 June 2011 as published in Australian Demographic Statistics, March 2012 (Cat. no. 3101.0)

4. Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council 2012, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework 2012 Report, AHMAC, Canberra.

5. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2011, Access to health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Cat. No. IHW 46. Canberra, AIHW.
Note: MBS statistics exclude services provided by publicly funded programs which may include services provided by some Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

6. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2012, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services report, 2010–11: OATSIH Services Reporting–key results. Cat. no. IHW 79. Canberra, AIHW.
Note: Includes services funded by the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH)

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