Severity of disability

People aged under 65 with severe or profound disability living in the community are more likely than those with other disability to use health services, particularly medical specialists (Figure 1).

This group is also more likely to:

  • see 3 or more health professionals for the same condition
  • have a health professional coordinating their care
  • face difficulties caused by lack of communication among health professionals.

Those without severe or profound disability are slightly more likely to report cost as a factor in why they delay seeing or do not see a medical specialist, dental professional or hospital.

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Figure 1 Alternative text

Bar chart showing the proportion of people against categories of use of health services. The reader can select to display the chart by five types of health service and by disability status. The chart shows people with severe or profound disability are more likely (24%) to see a general practitioner for urgent medical care than others with disability (18%).


ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2016. Microdata: disability, ageing and carers, Australia, 2015. ABS cat. no. 4430.0.30.002. Canberra: ABS. AIHW analysis of Confidentialised Unit Record File.