Do older Aussies get better care?

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?

Written by Ben

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