4364.0.55.014 - National Health Survey: Health Literacy, 2018  
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Navigating the healthcare system (Domain 7)

This health literacy domain looks at whether people are able to find out about services and support to meet their needs, and are able to advocate on their own behalf when using health services.

The following items were used to assess this domain[1]:
    • Find the right health care.
    • Get to see the healthcare providers you need to.
    • Decide which healthcare provider you need to see.
    • Make sure you find the right place to get the health care you need.
    • Find out which healthcare services you are entitled to.
    • Work out what the best care is for you.

Selected findings for this domain are provided below:
    • Overall 26% of people reported finding it always easy to navigate the healthcare system, and 60% reported finding it usually easy, while 14% of people reported finding it difficult to navigate the healthcare system.
    • Older people reported finding it easier to navigate the healthcare system than younger people. For example, 34% of people aged 65 years and older reported finding it always easy to navigate the healthcare system compared with 19% of people aged 35-44 years. 19% of people aged 18-24 years reported finding it difficult to navigate the healthcare system, with only 8% of people aged 65 years and over reporting finding it difficult.

Graph Image for Navigating the healthcare system by age

Source(s): Health Literacy Survey, 2018

    • People with lower self-reported psychological distress levels were more likely (31%) to find it always easy to navigate the healthcare system compared with people reporting moderate (18%) or very high (17%) levels of psychological distress.
    • The perceived difficulty of navigating the healthcare system between people without a long-term health condition and people with multiple long-term health conditions was similar for this domain.

Endnote


1 The Health Literacy Questionnaire (HLQ). Copyright 2014 Deakin University. Authors: Richard H Osborne, Rachelle Buchbinder, Roy Batterham, Gerald R Elsworth. No part of the HLQ can be reproduced, copied, altered or translated without the permission of the authors. Further information: rosborne@swin.edu.au.