Web update: Medicare Benefits Schedule GP and specialist attendances and expenditure in 2015–16 - Web update - Overview

Web update: Medicare Benefits Schedule GP and specialist attendances and expenditure in 2015–16

Overview

Updated local-level information is available for 14 measures of health care use across Australia in 2015–16. Results are presented for the 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas and smaller local areas called Statistical Areas Level 3 (SA3).

These measures include the number of GP, after-hours GP, specialist and aged-care home attendances per person. They also cover expenditure by Medicare on GP attendances and specialist attendances, and the percentage of bulk-billed GP attendances.

The findings are based on the Department of Human Services Medicare Benefits Schedule statistics 2015–16. This new information provides a sixth year of results at the national level and for SA3s, while three years of results are available for PHN areas.

The data reveal that in 2015–16:

  • Nationally, there were 6.1 GP attendances per person, increasing steadily from 5.4 per person in 2010–11
  • Across PHN areas, people in the Northern Territory saw a GP 4.3 times (per person), compared with 7.8 times per person in South Western Sydney
  • The amount spent by Medicare on GP visits ranged from $226 per person in the Australian Capital Territory PHN area to $361 per person in the South Western Sydney PHN area
  • There were 0.48 after-hours GP attendances per person nationally, increasing each year from 0.31 per person in 2010–11
  • Across PHN areas, after-hours GP attendances ranged from 0.15 per person in Country Western Australia to 0.84 per person in Western Sydney and North Western Melbourne
  • The amount spent by Medicare on after-hours GP attendances ranged from $9.28 per person in the Country Western Australia PHN area to $56.47 per person in Gold Coast (Qld) PHN area
  • Nationally, 85.1% of GP attendances were bulk billed, ranging from 60.1% in the Australian Capital Territory PHN area to 96.4% in the Western Sydney PHN area
  • Nationally, there were 0.94 specialist attendances per person, steadily increasing from 0.84 per person in 2010–11
  • Across PHN areas, people in the Northern Territory saw a specialist 0.35 times (per person), compared with 1.25 times per person in Northern Sydney
  • The amount spent by Medicare on specialist visits ranged from $27.05 per person in Northern Territory PHN area to $115.71 per person in Northern Sydney.

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Across Primary Health Network areas in 2015–16, the number of after-hour GP attendances per person ranged from:

  • 0.15 in Country WA
  • 0.48 in National
  • 0.84 in Western Sydney & North Western Melbourne