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Rural and remote health still behind the cities: report


Doug Hendrie


12/04/2018 12:32:58 PM

The health gulf between Australia’s well-served major cities and its rural and remote regions is still wide.

Twenty per cent of people in rural and remote areas said not having a nearby GP was a barrier to seeing one, compared to only 3% in major cities.
Twenty per cent of people in rural and remote areas said not having a nearby GP was a barrier to seeing one, compared to only 3% in major cities.

New statistics from the 2016 Survey of Health Care undertaken by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) show that rural and remote Australians older than 45 are much more likely to say that not having a GP nearby was a barrier to accessing healthcare.
 
Twenty per cent of respondents in rural and remote areas said not having a nearby GP was a barrier to seeing one, compared to only 3% in major cities, and almost 60% of respondents in rural and remote areas said not having a specialist nearby was a barrier to seeing one, compared to only 6% in major cities.
 
As a result, 17% of people in remote and regional areas visited an emergency department because no GP was available when needed, compared to only 10% in the major cities.
 
The AIHW survey also found there was decreasing sharing of information among healthcare providers as remoteness increased. In remote and very remote areas, 11% of people said that their GP did not seem to know about the treatment they received from a specialist, compared to only 5.3% in the cities.
 
And while 77% of people in cities said they had a healthcare professional who had a good understanding of health, their needs and preferences, only 68% in remote and very remote areas said the same thing.



AIHW rural-gp rural-health survey-of-health-care



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