Australians deliver surprising verdict on health care

Over 45s report positive experiences with their general practitioners.

How do you rate your health care?

Australians have given their general practitioners and doctors a clean bill of health, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Wednesday.

The Survey of Health Care, presented by the ABS and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), explored the experiences of people aged 45 years and over who had seen a GP in the previous 12 months. The survey focused on co-ordination of health care, including information transfer between GPs, specialists and hospitals.

Almost all Australians (98 per cent) aged 45 years and over who had seen a GP in the previous 12 months had a usual GP or a usual place of care.

Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of these people had long relationships with their GPs – having seen them for five years or more.

Around nine in 10 (88 per cent) reported that their usual GP or others in their usual place of care involved them in decisions and explained test results in a way they could understand.

“Overall, the majority of people believe they are well-informed about their medical care or treatment but there are differing levels of satisfaction,” said Louise Gates, Director of Health at the ABS.

Dr Lynelle Moon, Head of the Health Group at AIHW commented, “most people (92 per cent) reported they had received enough information, or did not need information, about their care or treatment from a health professional.

“People also reported on the level of information transfer between their usual GP and specialist doctors. More than three quarters (76 per cent) said their usual GP or others in their usual place of care seemed informed of the care they received from a specialist.

“Nine per cent said their GP or usual place of care did not seem informed or did not know about the specialist care until the patient told them.

“In comparison, information transfer wasn’t as strong following a visit to the emergency department. More than three in five people (62 per cent) felt their usual GP or others in their usual place of care seemed informed about their follow up needs or medication changes after their most recent visit to the emergency department, while 19 per cent did not,” added Dr Moon.

What do you think about the standard of health care in Australia? Do you have a regular GP and are you happy with the service you receive when you visit them?

Read the full ABS survey results.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    21st Sep 2017
    I've been with my GP for many years. My only criticism is he seems to spend more time clicking on his keyboard than listening to me. Looking into my past rather than the present moment.
    21st Sep 2017
    I agree with you about the clicking! I walked out of a consultation with a new GP because he asked the computer screen what I needed today. My new doctor talks to me rather than his computer. On the other hand my cardiologist uses his computer all the time. He swings the screen round so I can see real-time ultrasounds of my heart. It’s a bit unnerving to watch your heart beating, plus blood flowing through vessels and valves especially since the little hole where the blood shouldn’t be going but is! I s’pose watching the heart stop beating would be even more unnerving.
    21st Sep 2017
    Of course we have a good relationship with our GP we have too most of us are seeing them all the time. That happens when you are falling apart.
    21st Sep 2017
    We have been very fortunate in having wonderful GP's one for over 35 years, still remaining with him when having moved house and further away - we only left due to his retiring and us getting older and distance for travel. Thankfully we have a great Medical Centre near where we now live, and a GP who listens, advises and gives us good care - we have every faith in him - we have been with this one 5 years now.
    8th Nov 2017
    aren't you the lucky one Troubadour,
    I seem to be changing doctors faster than i change my computer????
    21st Sep 2017
    People get to choose their doctors so no excuse for putting up with poor performances from doctors. You can shop around even for ones who bulk bill online. If one disappoints try another until you get the whole package.
    My GP is always kind and thorough. My specialist is down to earth and bulk bills.
    Both care and listen.
    24th Sep 2017
    Agree we can find good GPs who communicate well and take an interest in the whole patient history, an absolute must for us. That is less the case with specialists who have to be "encouraged" to include GPs on distribution lists for MRIs and other specialist treatments.
    As a private health patient I find that the one area where specialists excel is in making sure they nail down their charges and the bill and its payment, and they invest less in ensuring the patient's Medicare claims and rebates are prompt. Our GP has the technology to do it all on the spot.
    I recently changed to a visiting specialist who had a GP back ground and thus had a focus on the patient and the medical problem....with very good results.
    8th Nov 2017
    I see they are wasting money again on stupid surveys.
    and yes I sorta agree with you there Sen.Cit
    and my poor doctor is a Senior just like you and i, but he's definitely not fast on the keyboard like myself. As a matter of fact he's so slow it makes me cringe and i just want to take over and alleviate his pain and mine:(
    Although he has great knowledge about my pain and where its all come from and has helped me to recover after a back operation, i have to sadly say, its time he retired. Cause He can't keep UP. i found lately when i went in, his brain was functioning less than mine poor ole soul.
    and i've had to change clinics. Cause the silly buggers at that clinic were too busy trying to work out most of the time if you were mentally healthy or not instead of dealing with the problems at hand. SO really i'm not impressed. And also when i thought i was going to see my doctor on one occasion i got called up by another, and one that didn't even speak English, I was dumbfounded. HOW the hell did he get his job i wonder!!!
    So much for the survey. ME thinks they got it wrong.
    NOT impressed personally

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles