4839.0 - Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings, 2011-12 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/11/2012   
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This chapter presents information on people who had been admitted to hospital or visited a hospital emergency department (ED) in the last 12 months. In 2011–12, approximately 2.3 million people aged 15 years and over (13%) had been admitted to hospital in the previous 12 months and 2.5 million (14%) had visited an ED. The proportions of people who had visited an ED or been admitted to hospital have remained steady across the three cycles of the survey. (Table 1)

Graph 5 shows admission to hospital in the previous 12 months by age and sex. Females are more likely than males to have been admitted to hospital, particularly in the child-bearing related age groups from 15 to 44 years, while males are more likely to have been admitted after age 75. (Table 2)

Graph Image for Graph 5 - Proportion of persons 15 years and over, Admitted to hospital in the previous 12 months

Around three quarters of those who were admitted to hospital were admitted only once in the previous 12 months (76%), while 4% were admitted four or more times. (Table 16)

Of the 2.5 million people who went to an ED in the previous 12 months for their own health, 71% visited once and 6% visited four or more times in that time. At the time of their most recent visit, 23% thought that the care they needed could have been provided by a GP. (Table 18)

When asked the main reason they went to an ED instead of a GP on their most recent visit, the most common reason people gave was that they felt their condition was serious or life threatening (48%). Around 27% said it was because of the time of day or day of the week they needed care and 7% said they were sent there by a GP. (Table 18)