Do older Aussies get better health care than youngsters?

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Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show older Australians are much more satisfied with visits to their GP than the younger generations.

Results from the 2017-18 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Patient Experience Survey showed that young people were less satisfied with their GP experience than patients aged 65 years and over. 

Around 16.5 million people saw a GP in the last 12 months, with females continuing to be more likely to visit their doctor (89 per cent compared to just 80 per cent of males).

However, when the results looked at overall satisfaction from those visits to the GP, older Australians were much happier with their visits.

It is difficult to derive from the statistics whether this is a result of older generations receiving better and more prompt treatment from their GPs, or whether the younger generations are less patient and more prone to complaining.

People aged 15 to 64 were more likely to report waiting longer than they felt acceptable for a GP appointment than those aged 65 and over (21 per cent compared with 12 per cent).

Young people aged 15 to 34 years were less likely than those aged 65 years and over to feel that the GP always listened to them (67 per cent compared with 83 per cent).

Around 87 per cent of those aged 65 and over felt that their GP always showed them respect, compared to just 75 per cent of those aged 15 to 34.

Young people (those aged 15-34) were also less likely than those aged 65 years and over to feel that their GP always spent enough time with them (70 per cent compared with 84 per cent).

The ABS figures also show that older Australians were much less likely to delay seeing a GP because of the cost.

Around five per cent of those aged 15 to 54 years delayed seeing or did not see a GP due to the cost, while only two per cent of those aged over 55 behaved in the same manner.

How would you rate your satisfaction when you visit your GP? Do you have to wait too long? Do you feel like you are listened to and given the appropriate respect? Do you think you receive better care because of your age?

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Written by Ben


Total Comments: 22
  1. 0

    Older people would be more happy with GP visits, specially if they go expecting a serious problem and are told its only minor. And they already would be expecting health problems, being older could be more accepting of any final result( which we all suffer eventually). I don’t go to a GP expecting miracles,just to get a script. If any testing is involved am happy to find out that there is no great emergency. will have to see how long that will be the case.

  2. 0

    With age comes the knowledge that a pill can’t fix all.
    The only people favoured are those with money and health insurance.

    • 0

      Health insurance does not help if one has an emergency during holidays, as the private folks go down to skeleton staff for the holidays and thus have only minimal ER going if any. Not sure if this is true everywhere or just in some isolated places. Even private patients have to wait for tests, and sometimes it is more than 10 days until the test can be done. If the private folks want to continue may I suggest they decide to be fully operational during out of work hours and holidays. Our bodies don’t look at the date, before deciding to be unwell.

  3. 0

    How would you rate your satisfaction when you visit your GP? Do you have to wait too long? Do you feel like you are listened to and given the appropriate respect? Do you think you receive better care because of your age?
    In answer to the questions put, I am very satisfied with our GP who has been the family doctor for over 40 year. Sadly, he is about to retire and we will lose an excellent GP. There has always been a waiting time after the appointment time but never more than about 10 minutes. If no appointment has been made, it’s still possible to see our GP but a long wait is expected.

    I am listened to and all matters raised are addressed. Interestingly, there is respect, both from us and to us from the GP. I think that a lot of the problem with the younger generation is that they don’t realise that respect is a two way street and it has to be given to be reciprocated. The younger generation want instant gratification and results and seem to be unable to accept that a diagnosis may need tests and results at a later time.

  4. 0

    Is this how ABS spends taxpayers money on such minor & mostly useless surveys? It all depends on whether you can get a good GP in your area.

    How about ABS do surveys on policy matters for the Govt to consider and use the survey results – such as impact of Medicare (and Private Insurance) Gap costs and people’s opinion on what needs to be done about those?

  5. 0

    I agree with most of the results. I cant remember a time when I went to my GP or specialist that I saw either one at the appointment time. We complain about public transport and airport delays but the medical profession have developed an art form for waiting. Thewse people are supposed to be the smartest and best. I’m sure they can do better.

  6. 0

    I have a wonderful GP but I think she is the same with all her patients. I do sometimes have to wait but I don’t complain as she often gives me more time than other doctors I’ve had in the past. She bulk bills which makes a difference. I think if you give your doctor respect you’ll get respect in return.

  7. 0

    In the old days you would get continuity with doctors. My past ones have been okay Due to renting I have needed to change over. The new GP is okay.The current is thorough. Due to being a good GP she is popular which means she is always booked out

  8. 0

    I don’t see this ‘survey’ as showing anything much.

    there would be many older people who have been with the same GP for decades like Old Man and thus built up a long term relationship with the GP. This is how general practice used to be years ago.

    These days people shop around far more, medical centres mean you may not see the same GP twice even if you always go to the same service. Not surprising then if the doctor/patient relationship has broken down – if indeed it ever existed – in that younger 15-34 generation.

    • 0

      I agree KSS. I have followed my doctor to a different practice because I couldn’t find a decent doctor where he used to be which is a few streets from where I live. I don’t care that I have to travel 7 km’s further to see him. I’ve had him for years and trust him. The other doctors I tried couldn’t really care about my past history and were too quick to hand out drugs and get to the next $person.

  9. 0

    Isn’t “better” care, the wrong word.
    Isn’t this really about “more care” in relation to more ailments, as older people have more things wrong with them. Like things due to aging, that can’t always be treated.

    If I defined a study cohort as 65 years and over, I would always be putting a comma after over, or (65 years and over) in brackets to make things more readable. Is this really a comparable cohort to people (15-35) years

    • 0

      I cant figure this one out..Why do you need a scientific study to tell you, that a person who is young and healthy will need less medical care than an old person.

      I thought everyone already knew that as the body ages it gradually loses the ability to repair itself.

      This is only common sense. It has nothing to do with the aged getting “better” medical care

  10. 0

    Our health system is sadly lacking in funding and age is not a factor

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