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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Around 5.4 million Australians aged 15 years and over had an imaging test in the past year (31%). Only slightly more than half of these people had been told how much the out-of-pocket expenses would be prior to the test (57% or 3 million people).

More women than men had been informed of the out-of-pocket expenses prior to their test (60% compared with 51%), and more people in major cities had been told of the out-of-pocket expenses beforehand than people in outer regional and remote areas of Australia (58% and 46% respectively).

Most people (5.1 million) had been referred for their most recent test by a health professional, and of these, 99% had received an explanation of the reasons for the test. Understanding of these reasons was high for both men and women across all age groups, with 95% of people overall understanding the reasons completely, and a further 5% understanding them to some extent.

At the time of the survey, the results of the most recent imaging test had been explained to 93% of people, generally by the referring health professional (89%). Just over 90% of the people who had received an explanation of their test results understood them completely, and a further 9% understood them to some extent (as shown in Figure 5.1, below).

See Table 5.3 for more detail of communication around imaging tests.

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