This report presents the first Coordination of Health Care Study results available at the Primary Health Network (PHN) area level for patients aged 45 and over. It uses the 2016 Survey of Health Care to look at patients’ use of, and experiences with, general practitioner (GP) care in 2015–16. Patients surveyed were a sample of Australians aged 45 and over who had visited a GP at least once in the previous year.

For the first time, national results are also presented by patient characteristics such as their socioeconomic group, remoteness area, or number of long-term health conditions.

Nationally, the data reveal that in 2016, almost all patients (98%) had a usual GP or a usual place of care; 8 in 10 (80%) had both a usual GP and place of care. Patients were more likely to have a usual GP or place of care if they:

  • were aged 75
  • lived in Major cities
  • spoke English at home
  • had higher levels of education
  • had private health insurance
  • reported poorer health and more long-term health conditions.

The proportions of patients with a usual GP or place of care were also high across PHN areas, ranging from 99% in Murray (Vic and part NSW), Adelaide, Tasmania, Hunter New England and Central Coast (NSW), Western Queensland and Murrumbidgee (NSW) to 92% in Northern Territory.

Though patients reported generally positive experiences of care from their usual GP or place of care, there was variation across PHN areas (explore further in an interactive web tool), and there was an association between longer patient-GP relationships and better experiences of care. Patients with both a usual GP and place of care reported better experiences of care than those with a usual GP only or a usual place of care only, though experiences were similar across types of usual places of care, including GP clinics, community health settings, and Aboriginal Medical Services.