Today the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) jointly present information from the Survey of Health Care, Australia, 2016. The survey which forms part of the broader Coordination of Health Care study was funded by the AIHW and conducted by the ABS.
This survey explored the experiences of people aged 45 years and over who had seen a GP in the previous 12 months, with a focus on coordination of health care, including information transfer between GPs, specialists and hospitals in Australia. Coordination of care is important for quality health care and has been shown to improve people’s health outcomes.
“Overall, the majority of people believe they are well-informed about their medical care or treatment but there are differing levels of satisfaction,” said Ms Louise Gates, Director of Health at the ABS.
“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,” added Ms Gates. “Also, around nine in ten (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.”
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, but 9 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.