More than 20 self-reported measures are included, such as information on health status, how many times people visited GPs, if they saw a dentist or other health practitioner, whether their GP listened to them and if they delayed or did not see a health practitioner due to cost.

While most Australians rate their health positively, their experiences with the health care system can vary depending where they live.

Results are presented for Primary Health Network (PHN) areas across Australia, providing local-level findings from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Patient Experience Survey 2015–16. Results are also included from the same surveys conducted in 2013–14 and 2014–15.

Most recently in 2015–16, the data reveal:

  • Nationally, 87% of Australian adults rated their health as excellent, very good or good, similar to previous years. Across PHN areas, this percentage ranged from 90% in Eastern Melbourne and Perth North to 81% in Gippsland (Vic)
  • Nationally, half (50%) of Australian adults reported having a long-term health condition, a slight increase from 48% in 2013–14
  • Across PHN areas there was a difference of 20 percentage points in adults reporting a long-term health condition, ranging from 63% in Murrumbidgee (NSW) to 43% in Central and Eastern Sydney
  • Nationally, 8% of Australian adults delayed or avoided filling a prescription due to cost. The highest percentage of adults reported this in Northern Queensland PHN area (11%), more than double the lowest percentage in Eastern Melbourne PHN area (5%) 
  • Nearly one fifth (19%) of Australian adults delayed or did not see a dentist, hygienist or dental specialist due to cost. The highest percentage of adults reported this in Murrumbidgee (NSW) PHN area (28%), nearly three times the lowest percentage in Northern Sydney PHN area (10%).