4839.0.55.001 - Health Services: Patient Experiences in Australia, 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/10/2011   
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Contents >> Introduction >> Introduction


Summary results of the 2009 Patient Experience Survey are presented thematically, as follows:

Use of health services

Chapter 1 provides an overview of health service usage in Australia. It contains data on:

  • general practitioner (GP), or multiple health professional visits for a single condition;
  • hospital admissions and visits to emergency departments;
  • pathology and imaging tests; and
  • advice sought from pharmacists in the last 12 months.

Barriers to health services

Chapter 2 contains information on various barriers to health care including:
  • cost;
  • views on waiting times for GP and medical specialist appointments;
  • after hours access; and
  • travel time.

General practitioners and medical specialists

Chapter 3 presents data on frequency of visits to GPs and specialists, as well as the following GP services:
  • waiting times for appointments;
  • prescription services;
  • referrals to specialists; and
  • rates of after hours and urgent visits to a GP.

Hospital and emergency

Chapter 4 includes data on the frequency of admission to hospital and visits to a hospital emergency department. In the case of people admitted to hospital, information is reported on whether they had been given the choice (and enough information to make the choice) to be treated as a public or a private patient. In relation to visits to a hospital emergency department, the chapter includes data on people's reasons for visiting an emergency department and whether they thought the care they went to the emergency department for could have been provided by a GP.

Communication with health providers

Chapter 5 presents data on the extent and clarity of communication with health providers in relation to medication, referrals to specialists, pathology and imaging tests, coordination of care by multiple health professionals and advice from pharmacists.

Harm and harmful side-effects

Chapter 6 presents data on any harm or harmful side-effects people may have suffered as a result of any medication, medical care, treatment or test in the past 12 months. Information is provided on the location in which the person had the medication, medical care, treatment or test that caused the harm or harmful side-effect. The chapter also includes information about whether people had been told of the risk of harm, whether they had received and completely understood an explanation of the most recent harm or harmful side-effect and whether they were satisfied with the treatment they received for it.

Experiences of health service provision for children

Chapter 7 contains data on households with children under the age of 15, where any child in the household had, in the last 12 months:
  • visited a hospital emergency department;
  • seen a GP for urgent medical care;
  • seen a GP after hours; and/or
  • needed to see a GP after hours but could not do so.

Data was collected on whether the household spokesperson thought the care provided for the child's most recent visit to an emergency department could have been provided by a GP, and the main reason the child was taken to an emergency department instead of a GP; as well as GP waiting times for urgent medical care, type of clinic visited for after hours care, and the main reason the child was unable to see a GP after hours.

Publication tables

Tables are provided to assist the reader with the information noted above. The tables are available in Excel spreadsheet form (data cubes), which can be found on the download tab of the publication, (cat. no. 4839.0.55.001).

Survey information

Information about the survey design and methodology, the quality and interpretation of results, and the range of publications and other data services available or planned is provided in the Explanatory Notes.

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