3414.0 - Guide to Migrant Statistical Sources, 2011 (Edition 2)  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/03/2011   
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The Patient Experience Survey (PEx)


The Patient Experience Survey (PEx) is an annual topic on the Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS) and was first conducted in 2009-10. The survey collects information from individuals about their experiences with selected aspects of the health system in the last 12 months. In 2009, the scope of the Patient Experience Survey included people aged 15 years and over, and households with children aged 0 to 14. Information was obtained for a wide range of health services, and information on children's use of health services was also collected from households with children under 15. A representative sample of about 6,500 households completed the survey. From 2010 the sample is approximately 27,000, but no longer includes information about children.

The PEx aims to obtain patient perspectives on health services in Australia and identify gaps for service improvement by providing performance indicators for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). National data on access and barriers to a range of health care services is available, including general practitioners, medical specialists and other health professionals, imaging and pathology, after hours care and hospital/emergency departments. Data on patient experiences of care and information provision is also available. The survey collects information from people that did not access health services as well as from those who did and enables analysis of health service information in relation to particular population groups.

Along with standard demographic, socioeconomic and geographic items to allow analysis by subpopulations of interest, the 2009 survey collected a range of data items for the following core topics:

    Use of services, barriers to access (including cost and waiting times) and clarity of communication in relation to:
      - GPs,
      - Specialists,
      - Other health professionals,
      - Hospitals,
      - Emergency departments,
      - After hours care,
      - Pharmacist,
      - Imaging and pathology, and
      - Medications.
    Continuity between health care professionals,
    Harm and harmful side-effects,
    Children’s use of health services,
    Occasions when medical care was required but not received,
    Private health insurance status, and
    Self-reported health status.

From 2010, service data includes dentistry; and communication data includes patient perception of the courtesy with which they were treated, the length of time they were able to spend with the health professional, and whether the health professional listened to them.

Data items contained within these topics are capable of being cross classified with Data Items Relevant to Migrants and Ethnicity.


  • Country of birth
  • Year of arrival

The full details of data items collected for the Patient Experience Survey is represented in Health Services: Patient Experiences in Australia, 2009 (cat. no. 4839.0.55.001).

Further details on scope, geographic coverage, data availability and publications, methodology, classifications and concepts will be available in the Patient Experience entry in the Directory of Statistical Sources.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service.

Phone: 1300 135 070
Fax: 1300 135 211
Post: Client Services, ABS, GPO Box 796, Sydney 2001
Email: client.services@abs.gov.au