The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released the results of the 2016-17 Patient Experience Survey, which collected data on access and barriers to a range of health care services.

The results showed that the proportion of people waiting longer than they felt acceptable for a GP appointment has decreased from 23% in 2013-14 to 18% in 2016-17. However, of the people who needed to see a GP in the last 12 months, one in twenty five (4%) delayed seeing or did not see a GP at least once due to cost.

People surveyed were even more likely to delay seeing a dental professional or did not see one at all due to cost (18%). Those living in areas of most socio-economic disadvantage were more than twice as likely to delay seeing or to not see a dental professional due to cost than those living in areas of least disadvantage (26% compared with 11%).

The results of the Survey are of value to both users of health services and those aiming to improve the health system, as barriers to accessing services impedes the best possible health outcomes.

To find out more on the Survey, click here.