This web update provides local-level information on people’s experiences with the health care system. Good patient experiences are an important component of quality health care, along with clinical effectiveness and patient safety.
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 filling a prescription due to cost.
While most Australians rate their health positively, their experiences with the health care system can vary depending on 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 2017–18. Results are also included, where available, from the same surveys conducted in 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16 and 2016–17. Further information on the Patient Experience Survey and what is included can be found in the technical note.
Most recently in 2017–18, the data reveal:
- nationally, 86% of adults rated their health as excellent, very good or good; similar to previous years. Across PHN areas, this percentage ranged from 81% in Gippsland (VIC) to 91% in Northern Sydney (NSW)
- half (50%) of adults reported having a long-term health condition. Across PHN areas, this percentage ranged from 38% in the Northern Territory (see notes) to 64% in Murrumbidgee (NSW)
- around 8 in 10 (84%) adults saw a GP in the previous 12 months. Across PHN areas, this percentage ranged from 78% in Western NSW to 88% in Western Sydney (NSW)
- around 9 in 10 (94%) adults felt their GP always or often showed respect for what they had to say. Across PHN areas, this percentage ranged from 87% in Western NSW to 97% in Northern Sydney
- around 9 in 10 (91%) adults felt their GP always or often spent enough time with them. Across PHN areas, this percentage ranged from 86% in the Northern Territory (see notes) to 95% in Western Queensland.