Free Access: New Australian Healthcare Index Report

No COVID slump as majority of Australians satisfied with healthcare system new report finds.

Patients weigh in on GPs, dentists, private health insurance, healthcare costs and more.

Despite a once-in-a-century pandemic still lingering one year on, Australians have given a vote of confidence to the Australian healthcare system, with 65.5% rating it a score of 8 or above out of 10, in a new report capturing the mood of Australian patients. 

The first Australian Healthcare Index report seeks to elevate patient perspectives and experiences on overall healthcare in Australia, based on responses from over 8,000 adults. 

Produced by the Australian Patients Association and HealthEngine, the report captures learnings from patients on the public and private healthcare ecosystem including primary care, private health insurance (PHI), emergency departments, elective surgery, prescription medicine and more.  

Designed to provide a pulse check on healthcare in Australia, key findings include:

  • Patients rated Australian Healthcare 7.8 out of 10
  • Patients are more likely to recommend their GPs than their dentist to friends and colleagues
  • While 55.1% of respondents have private health insurance (PHI), the majority are not recommending their PHI and many feel it costs too much
  • 36.6% think prescription medicine is too expensive
  • Nearly 95% embrace the intersection of healthcare and technology, with the use of, and interest in, telehealth, health apps, online booking, e-scripts and more
HealthEngine CEO, founder and medical director Dr Marcus Tan says the report is testament to the robustness of the healthcare system. 
 
“The fact a majority of Australians have a favourable opinion of the healthcare system after COVID-19 caused disruption, is a credit to the thousands of healthcare professionals with a commitment to patient-centred care.” said Dr Tan.  “With the release of the Australian Healthcare Index, we can identify, share and champion people’s perspectives on healthcare, as well as provide a baseline of learnings to establish a report that will come out twice a year.” 
 
Tan added, “Working closely with the APA, we hope the report drives conversation and consideration for the continued support of a patient-centric approach to healthcare.”  
 
Stephen Mason, CEO of the Australian Patients Association hopes the report will help strengthen patient-centred care in the healthcare system.  
 
“As we advocate for improved patient care and health outcomes, the Australian Healthcare Index is an important pulse check on the patient experience for organisations like ours as well as the greater healthcare community, peak bodies and government at all levels, who are contributing to and leading public and private healthcare in Australia,” said Mason. 
 
“The APA became involved with the Australian Healthcare Index to hear the patient’s voice. Although we are comforted by the knowledge that our healthcare system has coped well during the pandemic, we are concerned about dental care and the cost of medicines.” 
 
“As for the perceived lack of value from PHI, we are working closely with Private Healthcare Australia and its members to address this concern and in particular to prevent excessive out of pocket costs. “We hope the report’s findings make a positive contribution to shaping national healthcare policy, on behalf of patients across the country.” 
 
View or download the the Australian Healthcare Index at AustralianHealthcareIndex.com.au.  An interactive dashboard is available to explore the national survey results and view data at a state level or other demographics. 
 
Article contributed by HealthEngine.