4839.0 - Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings, 2016-17 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/11/2017   
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COORDINATION OF HEALTH CARE

The coordination of a person's health care is an important factor in ensuring the best possible health outcomes.

In 2016-17, one in six people (17%) aged 15 years and over saw three or more health professionals for the same condition. Females were more likely than males to have seen three or more health professionals for the same condition (19% compared with 15%). The proportion of males who saw three or more health professionals for the same condition has increased since 2015-16 (15% compared with 13%). See Tables 1 and 2.2 in Downloads.

Graph Image for Proportion of persons 15 years and over, saw three or more health professionals for the same condition

Source(s): Patient Experience Survey: Summary of Findings


The proportion of people who saw three or more health professionals for the same condition generally increased with age. Nearly one quarter of people (23%) aged 65 years and over had seen three or more health professionals for the same condition, compared with one in seven people (15%) aged 15 to 64 years. People who rated their health as fair or poor were more likely to have seen three or more health professionals for the same condition (39% compared with 13%). Likewise people with a long term health condition were more likely to have seen three or more health professionals for the same condition than those without (27% compared with 7%). See Tables 23.2 and 24.2 in Downloads.

Of those who saw three or more health professionals for the same condition, seven in ten people (71%) reported that a health professional helped coordinate their care. For these people, a GP was most likely to coordinate care (58%), followed by a medical specialist (26%). The proportion of people who reported that a GP helped to coordinate their care has decreased since 2015-16 (58% compared with 61%). Of those who received coordination of care, 96% reported that it was helpful, either to a large extent (70%) or to some extent (26%). See Table 22 in Downloads.

Among those who saw three or more health professionals for the same condition, 12% reported that there were issues caused by a lack of communication between the health professionals. Those with a long term health condition were more likely to report issues caused by a lack of communication between health professionals than those without (13% compared with 8%). Those living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas were more likely to report having issues caused by a lack of communication between health professionals than those living in major cities (15% compared with 12%). These patterns were similar in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16. See Table 24.2 in Downloads.

Graph Image for Proportion of persons 15 years and over, issues caused by lack of communication between health professionals

Source(s): Patient Experience Survey: Summary of Findings