4364.0.55.002 - Australian Health Survey: Health Service Usage and Health Related Actions, 2011-12  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/03/2013  First Issue
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Contents >> Key Findings



KEY FINDINGS
HEALTH ACTIONS OF THE GENERAL POPULATION

Consultations with health professionals
  • In 2011-12, almost all Australians (91.1%) had consulted at least one health professional in the last 12 months.
  • People living in areas of relatively high disadvantage were less likely to have seen a dentist in the last 12 months than people living in areas of low disadvantage (35.9% compared with 59.2% respectively), and similarly for a specialist (30.1% compared with 35.7% respectively).

Use of medical facilities for own health
  • In 2011-12, around 1 in 4 (24.9%) Australians had attended at least one medical facility in the last 12 months (being admitted to hospital as an inpatient or visiting an outpatient clinic, emergency/casualty or day clinic).
  • People aged 75 years and over reported the highest attendance at medical facilities, with 40.0% attending at least one medical facility in the last 12 months and almost one-quarter being admitted to hospital in the last 12 months.

Days off work or study/school

Of all people who were currently employed or studying/at school:
  • 13.3% had taken time off work or study/school in the last 2 weeks due to their own illness or injury; and
  • 3.9% had taken time off to care for someone else.
Private health insurance
  • In 2011-12, 57.1% of all people aged 18 years and over had private health insurance.
  • Just under half (47.2%) of young adults (18-24 year olds) had private health insurance.

Breastfeeding
  • In 2011-12, the majority of children aged 0–3 years had ever received some breastmilk (92.3%).
  • 17.6% of all children aged 6 months to 3 years had been exclusively breastfed to at least 6 months.
  • Almost three-quarters (73.9%) of children aged 4 months or less were still receiving breastmilk.

HEALTH ACTIONS TAKEN FOR SPECIFIC LONG-TERM HEALTH CONDITIONS

Consultations with health professionals

In 2011-12, the proportion of people who had consulted a health professional about their long-term health condition differed according to their condition.
  • 87.5% of people with diabetes had consulted a GP for their diabetes in the last 12 months, proportionally more than for any other long-term health condition (which ranged from 53.1% to 71.5%).
  • Similarly, proportionally more people with diabetes had consulted an other type of health professional in the last 12 months (39.7%) compared with other long-term health conditions (which ranged from 7.1% to 29.3%).
  • People with cancer were most likely to have consulted a specialist for their condition in the last 12 months (75.4%), followed by people with kidney disease (52.8%). All other long-term health conditions ranged from 6.0% to 26.6%.

Days off work or study/school

In 2011-12, some people who were currently employed or studying/at school had to take time off work or study/school in the last 12 months due to their long-term health condition.
  • People with a mental or behavioural condition were the most likely to have had time off work or study/school in the last 12 months due to their condition (31.2%), followed by people with cancer (30.9%). All other long-term health conditions ranged from 7.5% to 19.3%.

Cancer screening
  • Over half (58.5%) of all people reported regularly checking their skin for changes in freckles or moles in 2011-12.
  • People born in the United Kingdom were most likely to regularly check their skin (67.1%) followed by people born in Australia (62.9%), while people born in Asian countries were the least likely (21.6%).
  • In 2011-12, 30.3% of all persons aged 50 years and over had been tested for bowel cancer at some time in the past.
  • Of all women aged 50 years and over, 64.4% had been tested for breast cancer at some time in the past, while of all men aged 50 years and over, 48.4% had been tested for prostate cancer.

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