Do older Aussies get better health care than youngsters?

Older Australians more satisfied with visits to their GP than the younger generations.

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?



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    pedro the swift
    14th Nov 2018
    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.
    14th Nov 2018
    With age comes the knowledge that a pill can't fix all.
    The only people favoured are those with money and health insurance.
    14th Nov 2018
    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.

    14th Nov 2018
    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.

    14th Nov 2018
    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?
    14th Nov 2018
    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.
    Nan Norma
    14th Nov 2018
    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.
    14th Nov 2018
    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
    14th Nov 2018
    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.
    15th Nov 2018
    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.
    14th Nov 2018
    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
    14th Nov 2018
    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
    14th Nov 2018
    Our health system is sadly lacking in funding and age is not a factor
    14th Nov 2018
    In my experience recently saw 2 doctors about ongoing problems with the same results I have no health insurance was put on the waiting list have come to the conclusion let nature take its course & forget about it if you can.
    14th Nov 2018
    It all depends on where you go, my family doctor retired about 15 years ago, I have been going to a health centre since, I see the same doctor each time, they have their own X-ray place on site you can get scans as well, ecg’s no problem, there is also treatment rooms for minor procedures and jabs they have a wellness nurse, there is a dentist and a physio, and a skin cancer clinic. The waiting times are reasonable, so no complaints. Now seeing specialists are a different problem, my wife goes to a skin specialist who always says you have to phone before you go for your appointment, my wife has been seeing this same guy for at least 10 years, he has never been on time once in all that time, even when you ring beforehand the waiting time is between 30mins to 90mins, I have tried to get her to see another doctor, she seems to think he is the best around, he certainly charges like he’s the best, it seems to me the more some of these people charge the longer you are kept waiting!
    14th Nov 2018
    its ok if you have private health care but if u dont god help u. I need an MRI for issues from my neck to my feet. im on the govt waiting list ……………………. privately even if I could afford it one orthopedic doctor doesn't do the whole skeleton. if the illness doesn't get u the lack of care will
    14th Nov 2018
    I love my GP. She listens, she cares and she does her very best. And she's a migrant. 1.8m tall, black, wears bright colours, and is just wonderful.

    14th Nov 2018
    I find its the old people who waste the doctors time with idle chat making others wait
    So inconsiderate.

    I stopped going to a particular dentist when the receptionist let a patient who came in late for an appointment in before me . Told the dentist off and went somewhere else .

    My time is as valuable if not more than the doctors
    14th Nov 2018
    LOL....I know who the waste of time is.
    Old Geezer
    14th Nov 2018
    I just go to see specialists and rarely GPs myself as they are useless.
    16th Nov 2018
    The only people who get the best care are the medical industry and government scumbags
    17th Nov 2018
    Don't get any satisfaction from doctors, they can only suggest more tests and pills, I cured myself and take care of myself, diet, exercise and positive thinking works wonders.

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