4363.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/06/2013   
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This topic refers to coverage by specific government-issued cards which entitle the card holder, and in some cases their dependents, to a variety of health benefits or concessions (e.g. medical care, hospital treatment/accommodation, and supply of pharmaceuticals, free of charge or at reduced rates). Cards are provided primarily to recipients of Australian government pensions or benefits.

The specific cards covered were:

  • any treatment entitlement card from the Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA)
  • Health Care Card (including for low income earners and foster carers)
  • Pensioner Concession Card
  • Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

For details of the persons eligible for these cards (or coverage under these cards) and the range of entitlements available to card holders, please contact the relevant authority as eligibility can change over time.


Information was collected for all persons aged 18 years and over in the NHS.


Respondents aged 18 years and over were asked whether they have a DVA Treatment Entitlement Card, and the colour of the card; gold, white, or other. Respondents were also asked if they were covered by any of the other government health concession cards listed above. Multiple cards could be reported. Interviewers were supplied with supplementary information about the cards to assist if queried by respondents.

Data items

The data items and related output categories for this topic are available in Excel spreadsheet format from the Downloads page of this product.


Points to be considered in interpreting data for this topic include the following:
  • Although prompt cards were used, some respondents may have incorrectly reported other types of cards in answer to these questions; for example, State Seniors Cards, which provide access to non-health services or entitlements (e.g. transport).
  • Depending on the person in the household chosen as the selected adult, they may have been unaware of their coverage under another person's (e.g. a parent's) card.

Comparability with 2007-08

At the broadest level of whether covered by a DVA or other Government Health Card, the data are considered directly comparable between surveys. However, in making comparisons, consideration should be given to changes which may have occurred between 2007-08 and 2011-12 in terms of eligibility for cards, and the levels and types of entitlements they provide. The 2011-12 survey collected information from respondents aged 18 and over, whereas the 2007-08 survey collected information from respondents 15 years and over. Care should be taken to ensure the correct age group has been selected when making comparisons.

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