News

Most people happy with their GP, but young people feel less satisfied


Paul Hayes


15/11/2018 1:57:17 PM

Young people are less satisfied with their GP experience than patients aged 65 and older, according to a new ABS report.

RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon believes young people tend to visit a GP for episodic health issues, while older people are more likely to see their GP to manage an ongoing concern.
RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon believes young people tend to visit a GP for episodic health issues, while older people are more likely to see their GP to manage an ongoing concern.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) ‘Patient experience survey’ found that two-thirds (67%) of the almost 5.2 million Australians aged 15–34 who visited a GP in 2017–18 felt the GP always listened to them carefully, compared with 83% of people aged 65 years and older.
 
In addition, young people were less likely than older people to feel the GP always showed them respect (75% compared to 87%) and less likely to feel the GP always spent enough time with them (70% compared to 84%).
 
‘This is a trend that has occurred in previous years, and is consistent with other health professionals such as medical specialists and dentists,’ RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon told newsGP. ‘But, overall, people are happy with the experience they have with their GP.
 
‘Of those who saw a GP in the last 12 months, 74% reported the GP always listened carefully to them, 81% reported that they always showed them respect and 76% reported that they always spent enough time with them.’
 
According to ABS Director of Health Statistics Louise Gates, it is important to note that young people generally use health services less frequently, with 77% seeing a GP, 26% seeing a medical specialist, and 10% admitted to hospital.
 
‘This compared with 96%, 57% and 20% of people aged 65 years and over,’ she said.
 
Dr Nespolon also said young people usually to go to their GP for more ‘episodic’ health issues, while older people are more likely to see their GP to manage an ongoing health concern.
 
‘The type of concern that patients see their GP for might impact their experience,’ he said.
 
‘Most importantly, we know older patients are more likely to have an established relationship with their regular GP, and younger patients are more likely to see multiple GPs. We also know that patients who have a regular GP are more likely to report positive experiences.
 
‘This new data further highlights the importance and benefits of having a regular GP.’



ABS patient experience survey young people





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