Current Household Surveys

2016 COORDINATION OF HEALTH CARE STUDY
SURVEY OF HEALTH CARE


Background information
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in partnership with the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA) is conducting a survey to collect information about experiences with the health system for people aged 45 years and over.

The results from this survey will provide the community with vital information on Australians’ experiences with the health care system. It will enable the measurement of how the health system is performing and whether patients are getting the right care at the right place and at the right time.

Who are the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA)?
The National Health Performance Authority (NHPA) is an independent Government agency that monitors and reports on the performance of public and private hospitals, primary health care organisations and other bodies that provide health care services to the community.

What information is collected?
This survey includes questions about people's health and experiences with various health services, to better understand the Australian health care system. Topics include:
  • Demographic information
  • The way people use health care
  • Health and medications
  • Interactions with various health professionals and health services
  • The coordination and communication between health services.

How are people selected for inclusion in the survey?
The Department of Human Services randomly selected people aged 45 years and over from the Medicare database. Approximately 120,000 individuals were selected at random Australia-wide to participate in this survey. Your personal details have not been disclosed to the ABS or NHPA.

Is the survey compulsory?
The survey is collected on a voluntary basis under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. However, your participation in this survey is very important so that the ABS can ensure the overall survey results reflect the community as a whole. Even if you feel healthy and have not visited a doctor in a while, you are still encouraged to complete the survey. Your decision on whether or not to participate will not disadvantage you or affect your future health care in any way.

What do I need to do?
You can participate in this survey in three simple steps:

1. Complete the survey form.
  • The survey form will take around 10-30 minutes to complete, depending on your use of health services. It is important that the questions are answered by the person to whom the mail is addressed.

2. Complete the voluntary consent forms to release data from your health records.
  • You can choose which type of health records are released to the ABS.

3. Submit the form/s in the reply paid envelope provided in your mail out package.
  • Please post back the forms by the due date shown on the front page of the survey form.

What is the 'CONSENT FORM FOR RELEASE OF DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES DATA'?
This is a voluntary consent form authorising the Department of Health Services (DHS) to release your Medicare, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) claims data to the ABS. The data will be used to supplement the information collected in the study, to help find patterns in people's use of the health system.

What is the 'CONSENT FORM FOR RELEASE OF HOSPITAL DATA'?
This is a voluntary consent form authorising your state or territory health department to release hospital and emergency department data to the ABS. The data will be used to supplement the information collected in the study, to help find patterns in people's use of the health system.

What is the value of linking my records?
At the moment your health records are routinely collected by federal and state departments and held in different places.

Your survey information can be more informative if it can be linked to your routinely collected health records. This will assist in the wider aim of the study which is to improve the understanding of how health care relates to outcomes. This means we will be able to understand what happened to you the year after the survey and compare this to the year before the survey. For example, linking survey answers to hospital records can show how health care affects the chances of ending up in hospital.

What kind of information do we want to link to this survey?
With your permission, your survey will be linked to the data from the following sources containing information about your health and health care:

The pale yellow/orange consent form covers:
  • Medicare records (Medicare Benefits Schedule) e.g. your visits to a GP or health professional, the amount you were charged for the visit and how much of this was covered by Medicare. It does not include any diagnoses.
  • Pharmaceutical records (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) e.g. your use of prescription medicines, including the date you were supplied with medication and the name of the medication.

The light pink consent form covers:
  • Hospital records e.g. the name of the hospital, whether the admission was planned or an emergency, any diagnoses or procedures, how long you stayed in hospital.
  • Emergency Department records e.g. which Emergency Department you attended.
  • These records cover both public and private hospitals.

Can I withdraw my consent after returning the consent form(s)?
If you change your mind after returning the forms, you can withdraw your consent for future release of your Department of Human Services (Medicare) and hospital data by calling the ABS on 1300 135 070. Your information collected before your withdrawal will continue to be used.

What if I need help filling out the survey?
For questions about how to complete or return the survey, please call the ABS on 1800 206 696 and someone will be able to assist you. You can also call this number to find out about services available to help you if the survey causes you distress, or if you wish to register a complaint.

What provision is made for respondents who do not speak English well?
Respondents can call the interpreting service number on their information sheet (131 450) and say they are calling about the Survey of Health Care, They will receive telephone assistance from an ABS officer, interpreted into their language.

Will respondents be paid for their time?
No. As with other household surveys, the ABS relies on the willing cooperation of households.

Will the information provided be confidential?
Yes, your survey responses and any information from your health records released to the ABS will be confidential. The ABS is required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905 to maintain the secrecy of this information. The ABS also complies with the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988 when collecting and using personal information. In accordance with these laws, the ABS will not disclose any identifiable information about a person unless explicit consent has been sought from the individual or the disclosure is authorised or required by law.

Where can I obtain the survey results?
Results from the Survey of Health Care will be available free of charge on the ABS website at www.abs.gov.au from late 2016.


MONTHLY POPULATION SURVEY (MPS)

Background

The Monthly Population Survey (MPS) has been carried out since 1960 to provide information about the Australian population and workforce on a regular basis. The nation's employment and unemployment figures are produced from this survey.

Your household is one of approximately 30,000 around Australia selected by the ABS to take part in the survey each month. It is an official survey conducted under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

The results from the MPS are used by Commonwealth and state government, industry business, trade unions and academics to make important decisions about employment, industry support and education.

What details are required?

The main component of the MPS is the Labour Force Survey (LFS). In the LFS, employed people will be asked some questions on topics such as hours worked, their occupation and the type of industry in which they work. People looking for work will be asked questions on topics such as steps taken to look for work and the length of time they have been looking for work. Retired people and people who are neither working nor looking for work will be asked some questions to clarify their current situation and future intentions.

In some months you might be asked additional questions on various topics including education, conditions of employment or child care arrangements.
A small portion of respondents will be asked about qualifications and employment outcomes, barriers and incentives to labour force participation, retirement and retirement intentions, household use of information technology, patient experience, crime and safety and household income.

The questions can usually be answered for all of your household members in a few minutes and the answers can be provided by any adult member of the household. The interview is conducted using a notebook computer

How long will I be in the survey?

You will be asked to complete our survey once every month for eight months. You have the option to register and complete the survey online for the eight months you have been selected. If you decide not register online an ABS interviewer (with an official identification card) will visit your home for the first interview. In the following months, where possible, interviews will be conducted by telephone.

Why do I have to do it for eight months?

One of the main reasons for the MPS is to measure changes in your households situation over time. To reduce burden on your household and to provide reliable information on the current status of the labour force, households are replaced every eight months. Seven-eights of the month-to-month sample is the same as the previous month.

Why is it important that all those selected take part in the survey?

The sample is designed to provide a balanced representation of all households in Australia so that the estimates made from the data reflect, as closely as possible, all households. If some households do not participate, this may result in one type of household being represented more often than another type, which may result in biases in the data.

What provision is made for respondents who do not speak English well?

Arrangements can be made for the interview to be conducted by an ABS Interviewer fluent in the language of the householder or using an interpreter.

Will respondents be paid for their time?

No. As with other household surveys, the ABS relies on the willing cooperation of households.

Why are Notebook computers being used for the survey interview?

The use of Notebook computers increases the security of the information collected as it can only be accessed by the interviewer and the ABS officers responsible for processing the data.

Using notebook computers helps to minimise the number of mistakes that can be made when information is being collected or processed. This improves the quality and reliability of the survey data. Additionally, notebook computers make it easier for interviewers to conduct the interview smoothly and speed up the interview process.

Is the survey compulsory?

The questions included in this survey are being asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, you are obliged to provide the information being requested. The ABS is required by the Act to maintain the secrecy of all information provided to it. No information will be released in a way that would enable an individual or household to be identified.

Do householders have to give ABS interviewers right of entry to their home?

No. Interviewers can enter the household only by invitation from the householder; however, it would be helpful if a suitable chair and table was made available (inside or outside the house) as the interviewer will be using a notebook computer to collect the information.

Will the information provided be confidential?

The ABS privacy policy outlines how you can access and correct the personal details that you provide to us. It also explains how you can lodge a complaint if you believe the Australian Privacy Principles have been breached, and the steps the ABS will take to deal with your complaint. Please see www.abs.gov.au/privacy for the ABS privacy policy.

Where can I obtain the survey results?

Full survey results are published monthly on the ABS website in Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0)


HOUSEHOLD EXPENDITURE SURVEY (HES) 2015-16

Background

The Household Expenditure Survey (HES) is one of the most important social surveys run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The HES identifies the levels and patterns of household spending on a wide range of goods and services. The HES also shows how expenditure varies according to income levels and other characteristics of households, such as size, location and main source of income. One of the most important uses for the HES is updating the weighting pattern of the Consumer Price Index.
This cycle of the HES will select households between the 28th June 2015 and the 25th June 2016. The ABS collects the HES over a whole financial year because income and spending varies over the course of a year, due to holidays and seasonal work patterns.

What information is collected?

The HES collects information about expenditure, income, housing, assets, and loans. At the same time, the HES collects general information including age, birthplace, cultural background, employment, education and disability. This information is collected through group and individual interviews.

Who will be in the survey?

Each person aged 15 years and over in the household is asked to complete personal expenditure diaries covering two weeks. All persons aged 15 years and over are also asked to participate in a group interview to collect information about household expenses, loans and housing circumstances.
An individual interview is then used to collect information on employment and income from each person aged 15 years or above. The consent of a parent or guardian will be sought for interviews with household members aged between 15 and 17 years.

How are households selected for the survey?

About 10,900 households across Australia are selected in the HES. Households are selected at random within each state and territory, and each dwelling has an equal chance of being selected. The information collected from each household is used to represent others like them in terms of their key characteristics, expenditure patterns and financial situations.

Has a survey of this type ever been conducted before?

Yes, the HES was first run in June 1974 and is currently conducted every six years. The last HES was run in 2009-10.

How will households be contacted?

Each participating household will receive a Guide explaining that the household has been selected for the survey. The Guide provides background information about the survey and contact information. It also lets the household know that a survey invitation letter will arrive within the week to request that they register their contact details online or via phone. A reminder letter will also be sent encouraging selected households to register their contact details.
When the household's contact details are registered, an ABS Interviewer will contact the household to arrange a time to conduct the survey. If contact details are not registered, an ABS Interviewer will visit the address to arrange a time to conduct the survey.

What provision is made for respondents who do not speak English well?

Where possible, an ABS Interviewer who is fluent in the language of the householder will conduct the interviewer. Otherwise, an interpreter will help to conduct the interview.

Will respondents be paid for their time?

No. As with other household surveys, the ABS relies on the willing cooperation of households.

Why are Notebook computers being used for the survey interview?

The use of Notebook computers increases the security of the information collected. Information collected can only be accessed by the Interviewer and the ABS officers responsible for processing the data.
The Notebook computers help to reduce the number of mistakes that can be made during each interview. This improves the quality and reliability of the survey data. The Notebook computers also make it easier for the Interviewer to conduct the survey.

Is the survey compulsory?

The questions in the HES are asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, you are obliged to provide the information that is requested. The ABS is required by the Act to maintain the secrecy of all information provided to it. No information will be released in a way that would enable an individual or household to be identified.

Will the information provided be confidential?

The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how you can access and correct the personal details that you provide to us. It also explains how you can lodge a complaint if you believe the Australian Privacy Principles have been breached, and the steps that the ABS will take to deal with your complaint. Please see www.abs.gov.au/privacy for the ABS Privacy Policy.

Where can I obtain the survey results?

Survey results will be available mid-2017. Results will be available, free of charge, on the ABS website.


SURVEY OF INCOME AND HOUSING (SIH) 2015-16

Background

The Survey of Income and Housing (SIH) is one of the most important social surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The SIH is used to understand the household income, wealth and housing costs across the Australian population.
This cycle of the SIH will select households between the 28th June 2015 and the 25th June 2016. The ABS collects the SIH over a whole financial year because income over the course of a year for many households, due to holidays and seasonal work patterns.

What information is collected?

The SIH collects information about income, housing, assets and loans. The SIH also collects general information including age, birthplace, cultural background, employment, education and disability. This information will be collected using individual interviews.

Who will be in the survey?

A Household Spokesperson aged 18 years and over will answer questions about loans and housing on behalf of the household. For each person aged 15 years and over, individual interviews will then collect information on their employment and income. The consent of a parent or guardian will be sought for household members aged between 15 and 17 years.

How are households selected for inclusion in the survey?

About 8,000 households across Australia will be selected in the SIH. Households are selected at random within each state and territory, and each dwelling has an equal chance of being selected. The information collected from each household is used to represent others like them in terms of their key characteristics, housing circumstances and financial situation.

Has a survey of this type ever been conducted before?

Yes, the SIH was first run in 1994-95, and is currently run every two years. It was last conducted in 2013-14.

How will households be contacted?

Each participating household will receive a Guide explaining that the household has been selected for the survey. The Guide provides background information about the survey and contact information. It also lets the household know that a survey invitation letter will arrive within the week to request that they register their contact details online or via phone. A reminder letter will also be sent encouraging selected households to register their contact details.
When the household's contact details are registered, an ABS Interviewer will contact the household to arrange a time to conduct the survey. If contact details are not registered, an ABS Interviewer will visit the address to arrange a time to conduct the survey.

What provision is made for respondents who do not speak English well?

Where possible, an ABS Interviewer who is fluent in the language of the householder will conduct the interviewer. Otherwise, an interpreter will help to conduct the interview.

Will respondents be paid for their time?

No. As with other household surveys, the ABS relies on the willing cooperation of households.

Why are Notebook computers being used for the survey interview?

The use of Notebook computers increases the security of the information collected. Information collected can only be accessed by the Interviewer and the ABS officers responsible for processing the data.
The Notebook computers help to reduce the number of mistakes that can be made during each interview. This improves the quality and reliability of the survey data. The Notebook computers also make it easier for the Interviewer to conduct the survey.

Is the survey compulsory?

The questions in the SIH are asked under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. Under the Act, you are obliged to provide the information that is requested. The ABS is required by the Act to maintain the secrecy of all information provided to it. No information will be released in a way that would enable an individual or household to be identified.

Will the information provided be confidential?

The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how you can access and correct the personal details that you provide to us. It also explains how you can lodge a complaint if you believe the Australian Privacy Principles have been breached, and the steps that the ABS will take to deal with your complaint. Please see
www.abs.gov.au/privacy for the ABS Privacy Policy.

Where can I obtain the survey results?

Survey results will be available mid-2017. Results will be available, free of charge, on the ABS website.