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4914.0.55.001 - Age Matters, December 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/12/2010   
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LATEST FINDINGS

On this page:
PATIENT EXPERIENCES
WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS
MIGRATION
PENSIONER AND BENEFICIARY LIVING COST INDEX


PATIENT EXPERIENCES

The 2009 Patient Experience Survey was conducted for the first time from July to December 2009. It collected Australians' views of their health care experiences in the previous 12 months. It provides data on the characteristics and experiences of people aged 15 years and over that accessed health services and those that did not. The survey found that experiences of health care differed across the age groups. The publication contains analysis about older people, and the data cubes provide further information disaggregated by age (see table below for more information).

DATA SOURCE

This article provides a snapshot of what can be found on older people in the publication and data cubes found in Health Services: Patient Experiences in Australia, 2009 (cat. no.4839.0.55.001).

Use of GP Services
Older people were more likely than younger people to see a General Practitioner (GP). While 78% of people aged 15 to 64 had visited a GP at least once in the last 12 months, from the age of 65 years and over rates of visiting a GP were over 95%. Some characteristics of Australians aged 15 and over who had seen a GP in the last 12 months:
  • The frequency of visits increased with age, two thirds of people aged 15 to 64 (66%) who had visited a GP had been less than four times in the past year. By the age of 75 years and over 69% of people who had seen a GP had done so four or more times in the year, with almost one in four people this age seeing a GP 12 or more times in the year (24%).
  • Being prescribed medication also generally increased with age, reaching 94% among people aged 75 years and over who had seen a GP.
Hospital Emergency Visits
In 2009, approximately 2.3 million Australians aged 15 years and over visited a hospital emergency department in the previous 12 months, of these a quarter (27%) visited two or more times. Some characteristics of those that visited a hospital emergency department:
  • Patterns of visiting a hospital emergency department were quite similar across the age groups, between two thirds (67% aged 65 to 74) and three quarters (76% aged 15 to 24) visited only once.
  • People aged 55 years and over who visited the emergency department were less likely (20%) than those under 55 years (27%) to think that the care they received could have been provided by a GP.
  • The main reason given for visiting the emergency department instead of the GP also differed by age. People aged 55 and over were more likely to go to the emergency department because of a serious or life threatening condition (51%) compared with those aged under 55 years (45%).
Barriers to Health Services
The cost of seeing a GP, having pathology or imaging tests, seeing a specialist or purchasing medication can be a barrier to some. The likelihood of cost being a barrier may be affected by characteristics linked to age, such as whether a person has private health insurance or can access concessions for PBS medication.
  • People under the age of 45 were more likely to have reported cost as a barrier to seeing a GP (8%) than people aged 45 years and over (4%). After the age of 45, finding cost a barrier declined fairly steadily with age.
  • People aged 55 and over found cost less of a barrier to seeing a specialist (6%) than did younger people (13%).
  • People aged 65 years and over were less likely than people in any other age group to have delayed getting or not bought prescribed medication because of the cost (3%).
Harm or Harmful Side-Effects
A small number of Australians aged 15 and over reported that they had medication, medical care, treatment or a test that caused harm or a harmful side-effect at some time in the previous 12 months (5%). Some characteristics of the people that experienced harm or a harmful side-effect were:
  • The highest rate reported was among those aged 55 to 64 (7%).
  • Those aged 45 to 54 reported the highest rate (64%) of being informed that the most recent harm or harmful side-effect could happen and people aged 65 to 74 reported the lowest (42%).
  • Of people that sought the attention of a health professional regarding their symptoms (74%) the levels of satisfaction with the way their situation had been dealt with varied after the age of 44. Those aged 45 to 54 (85%) were the most satisfied and those aged 65 to 74 the least satisfied (64%).

Data Cube TitleAge Format
1.2: Use of health services for own health in the last 12 months by age and sex10 year age groups from 15 up to 75 and overExcel
2.2: Barriers to use of health services by selected demographic characteristics10 year age groups from 15 up to 75 and overExcel
2.4: Health services most recently needed but unable to access by selected characteristicsTwo groups provided 15 to 44 years and 45 and overExcel
2.5: Barriers to after hours GP care in last 12 months by age, sex and remoteness10 year age groups from 15 up to 75 and overExcel
3.2: Use of GP services for own health in the last 12 months by age and sex10 year age groups from 15 up to 75 and overExcel
3.6: Type of after hours clinic visited by age and sex10 year age groups from 15 up to 75 and overExcel
3.8: Use of specialist services for own health in the last 12 months by age and sex10 year age groups from 15 up to 75 and overExcel
4.2: Admissions to hospital: Experiences in last 12 months by selected demographic characteristics10 year age groups from 15 up to 75 and overExcel
4.5: Emergency visits in last 12 months by selected demographic characteristics10 year age groups from 15 up to 75 and overExcel
5.1: Experiences with medication by age, sex and remoteness10 year age groups from 15 up to 75 and overExcel
5.2: Experiences with pathology tests by age, sex and remoteness10 year age groups from 15 up to 75 and overExcel
5.3: Experiences with imaging tests by age, sex and remoteness10 year age groups from 15 up to 75 and overExcel
5.4: Experiences of care by age, sex and remoteness10 year age groups from 15 up to 75 and overExcel
6.1: Experiences of harm or harmful side-effects by age and sex10 year age groups from 15 up to 75 and overExcel

For the full publication or access to the data cubes please go to the Health Services: Patient Experiences in Australia, 2009 (cat. no.4839.0.55.001) webpage.


WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS

The Wage and Salary Earner Statistics for Small Areas, Time Series, 2003-04 to 2007-08 (cat no. 5673.0.55.003) publication presents data that is produced by the ABS using personal income tax (PIT) information from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Wage and salary statistics in this issue are presented for the years 2003-04 to 2007-08 on a range of geographic levels and age is included in a number of data cubes in 10 year age groups from 15 years of age until 65 and over (see table below for more information).

DATA SOURCE

This article provides a snapshot of what can be found on older people in the publication and data cubes found in Wage and Salary Earner Statistics for Small Areas, Time Series, 2003-04 to 2007-08 (cat no. 5673.0.55.003)

Some of the key findings regarding older people (aged 65 and over) in Australia who submitted an individual income tax return and received wage and salary income in the 2007-08 financial year were:
  • Only a small proportion of wage and salary earners were people aged 65 and over (2%).
  • 3 out of 4 (78%) earners aged 65 and over reported a wage and salary earning income of less than $41,600.
  • While most age groups had an even gender split, wage and salary earners aged 65 and over group was almost two-thirds male (63%).
  • The number of female wage and salary earners aged 65 and over has increased by 45% from 57,400 in 2003-04 to 83,100 in 2007-08.
  • A third of wage and salary earners aged 65 and over were working as Professionals, or Managers and Administrators (14% and 18% respectively).
The articles in the publication focus on five Statistical Local Areas (SLAs) in each state and territory with the highest average wage and salary incomes in 2007-08. An example of what can be extracted from the data cubes from an older persons perspective is highlighted in the commentary below.

The SLA with the second highest average wage and salary income in Australia in 2007-08 was Woollahra ($85,462) in NSW, this SLA also had a high proportion of wage and salary earners aged 65 and over (6%). Some characteristics of those aged 65 and over in Woollahra:
  • Almost three quarters (71%) reported a wage and salary income of under $41,600, slightly less than the state average for those aged 65 and over (78%).
  • Of these almost half (46%) were women compared to the average state figure of 38% for those aged 65 and over.
  • Half (49%) of Woollahra's wage and salary earners were working as Professionals, or Managers and Administrators compared with a third of those aged 65 and over in NSW (33%).

Data Cube TitleAge Format
2A: Wage and Salary Earners, Age by Sex, Local Government Areas, 2007-0810 year age groups from 15 up to 65 and overExcel
2B: Wage and Salary Earners, Age by Sex, Statistical Local Areas, 2007-0810 year age groups from 15 up to 65 and overExcel
4A: Wage and Salary Earners, Occupation (Major Groups) by Age, Local Government Areas, 2007-0810 year age groups from 15 up to 65 and overExcel
4B: Wage and Salary Earners, Occupation (Major Groups) by Age, Statistical Local Areas, 2007-0810 year age groups from 15 up to 65 and overExcel
6A: Wage and Salary Earners, Age by Wage and Salary Income, Local Government Areas, 2007-0810 year age groups from 15 up to 65 and overExcel
6B: Wage and Salary Earners, Age by Wage and Salary Income, Statistical Local Areas, 2007-0810 year age groups from 15 up to 65 and overExcel
2C: Wage and Salary Earners, Age by Sex, All regions, 2003-04 to 2007-0810 year age groups from 15 up to 65 and overSupertable
4C: Wage and Salary Earners, Occupation (Major Groups) by Age, All regions, 2003-04 to 2007-0810 year age groups from 15 up to 65 and overSupertable
6C: Wage and Salary Earners, Age by Wage and Salary Income, All regions, 2003-04 to 2007-0810 year age groups from 15 up to 65 and overSupertable

For the full publication or access to the data cubes please go to the Wage and Salary Earner Statistics for Small Areas, Time Series, 2003-04 to 2007-08 (cat. no.5673.0.55.003) webpage.



MIGRATION

Migration, Australia, 2008-09 (cat. no. 3412.0) is an annual publication that brings together statistics on international migration into and out of Australia, information on overseas-born residents of Australia and interstate migration within Australia. The publication contains analysis about older people, and the data cubes provide further information disaggregated by age (see table below for more information).

DATA SOURCE

This article provides a snapshot of what can be found on older people in the publication and data cubes found in Migration, Australia, 2008-09 (cat. no. 3412.0)

Some of the key findings regarding older people were:
  • The impact of net overseas migration (NOM) into Australia of people aged 65 and over in 2008-09 was negligible, with NOM arrivals (11,800) being almost entirely offset by NOM departures (11,000).
  • One-third (36%) of people aged 65 and over at 30 June 2009 were born overseas. The largest countries of birth for this age group were the United Kingdom (320,700), Italy (119,700) and Greece (66,900).
  • Among the top 50 countries of birth Italy (67.0 years) and Greece (65.6) recorded the oldest median ages of Australian residents born overseas.
  • Older people were less likely to move interstate than their younger counterparts, particularly young adults. Whilst 3% of the total Australian population aged 20-34 moved interstate in 2008-09, just 0.5% of people aged 65 and over (14,400) made an interstate move in 2008-09.

Data Cube TitleAge Format
Estimated resident population, Selected countries of birth, age and sex-30 June 1996 to 20095 year age groups up to 75 and overSupertable
Net overseas migration, Arrivals and departures, State/territory, age and sex-Calendar and Financial years, 2004 to 2009 5 year age groups up to 65 and overSupertable
Interstate migration, Arrivals, departures and net, State/territory, age and sex-Calendar and Financial years, 2004 to 20095 year age groups up to 75 and overSupertable
Estimated resident population, Selected countries of birth, State and territory by age-30 June 20065 year age groups up to 75 and overExcel

This publication also includes information compiled from the Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) 2007-08 on Australian housing mobility, released in Housing Mobility and Conditions, 2007-08 (cat. no. 4130.0.55.002). SIH collected information relating to residents of private dwellings only (e.g. houses, flats, caravans, etc.). The Housing Mobility and Conditions publication contains more detailed data focussing on the experiences of the household reference person, including breakdowns by age in 10 year groups up to 75 and over. This information highlighted that the number of times people move is strongly related to age, with the proportion of people who had moved (particularly those moving multiple times) decreasing progressively in the older age groups. One in six people aged 65 years and over (17%) moved at least once in the previous five years, the main reasons reported for the last move were lifestyle change or downsizing to a smaller home.

For the full publication or access to the data cubes please go to the Migration, Australia, 2008-09 (cat. no. 3412.0) webpage.



PENSIONER AND BENEFICIARY LIVING COST INDEX

The Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI) has been designed to answer the question: 'By how much would after tax money incomes need to change to allow age pensioners, and other households whose principal source of income is government benefits, to purchase the same quantity of consumer goods and services that they purchased in the base period?'

Since the last edition of Age Matters there have been two releases of the PBLCI, June quarter 2010 and September quarter 2010. The all groups PBLCI rose 1.0% for the September quarter 2010, the same as in the June quarter 2010. Through the year to September quarter 2010 the PBLCI rose 3.8%, the same as the through the year rise to June quarter 2010. The most recent release shows that since the beginning of the series in June quarter 2007, the PBLCI has risen consistently, with the exception of a small fall in December quarter 2008. The publication also provides comparisons to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), discusses PBLCI movements and the possible reasons for these movements.

For more information please go to Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index, Sep 2010 (cat. no. 6467.0).


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