Skip to Content

Report on Government Services 2020

PART E, SECTION 10: RELEASED ON 31 JANUARY 2020

10 Primary and community health

This section reports on the performance of primary and community health services which include general practice, pharmaceutical services, dentistry, allied health services, community health services, maternal and child health and alcohol and other drug treatment.

Download the section

Note: An errata was released with the Primary and community health section reflecting updates to the files above.

Errata

The following data have changed for Section 10 Primary and community health:

  • Amended data for Non-referred attendances that were bulk billed by region and age, for 2014-15 to 2018-19 for all jurisdictions and Australia. Affects data tables 10A.27 and 10A.28.
  • Key Facts
  • Indicator Framework
  • Indicator Results
  • Indigenous Data

Government recurrent expenditure on primary and community health was around $38.1 billion in 2017‑18.

Australian Government expenditure on general practice in Australia was $9.8 billion, or $391 per person, in 2018‑19.

Australian Government expenditure on the PBS was around $8.2 billion, or $325 per person, in 2018-19.

Primary and community health services aim to promote health, prevent illness and to support people to manage their health issues in the community, by providing services that are:

  • timely, affordable and accessible to all
  • appropriate and responsive to meet the needs of individuals throughout their lifespan and communities
  • high quality and safe
  • well coordinated to ensure continuity of care where more than one service type, and/or ongoing service provision is required
  • sustainable.

Governments aim for primary and community health services to meet these objectives in an equitable and efficient manner.

The performance indicator framework provides information on equity, efficiency and effectiveness, and distinguishes the outputs and outcomes of health services. The performance indicator framework shows which data are complete and comparable in this Report.

Indicator framework

An overview of the Primary and community health performance indicator results are presented. Information to assist the interpretation of these data can be found in the indicator interpretation boxes in the Primary and community health section and data tables.

Expand allCollapse all

Equity — Access indicators

Availability of primary healthcare services

PBS medicines by region - number of people per approved PBS provider by region, 30 June 2019

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Urban no. 3 986 4 418 4 167 4 101 3 809 3 492 5 086 4 588 4 136
Rural no. 3 676 3 666 2 934 2 399 2 748 2 778 1 173 2 996
Source: Data table 10A.18

Availability of FTE GPs by region, 2018 (rate per 100 000 population)

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Major cities 119.5 111.7 126.3 108.0 117.8 .. 88.5 .. 116.4
Inner regional 113.7 109.9 118.3 100.4 103.2 112.4 np .. 112.5
Outer regional, remote & very remote 85.3 .. 105.8 82.0 96.6 93.8 .. 92.2 94.1
Source: Data table 10A.19

Availability of FTE GPs by sex, 2018 (rate per 100 000 population)

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Females 90.6 84.8 91.2 78.4 80.1 89.0 81.9 85.0 87.0
Males 140.9 134.7 150.3 128.5 146.1 122.1 93.9 95.4 138.6
Source: Data tables 10A.20–21

Availability of public dentists by region, 2018 (rate per 100 000 population)

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Major cities 5.2 5.1 6.7 6.4 6.2 .. 5.0 .. 5.6
Inner regional 4.8 3.5 6.6 7.5 3.6 9.9 .. 5.3
Outer regional 2.5 4.6 9.1 8.4 4.4 3.7 .. 8.1 6.2
Remote/very remote 0.6 13.4 6.3 5.3 .. 12.6 9.2
Source: Data table 10A.22

Early detection and early treatment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians who received a health assessment, 2018-19

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 36.2 20.9 45.9 35.9 28.2 25.2 19.8 42.9 37.1
Source: Data table 10A.25

Effectiveness — Access indicators

Affordability of primary healthcare services

People deferring visits to GPs due to cost, 2018-19

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 2.7 ± 0.5 3.3 ± 0.8 3.7 ± 0.6 3.7 ± 0.6 3.5 ± 0.8 8.6 ± 1.3 5.6 ± 1.4 1.8 ± 0.8 3.4 ± 0.3
Source: Data table 10A.26

People deferring buying prescribed medicines due to cost, 2018-19

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 6.6 ± 0.8 5.6 ± 1.0 7.7 ± 1.0 7.1 ± 1.0 7.7 ± 1.4 9.8 ± 1.4 6.8 ± 2.3 3.2 ± 1.8 6.7 ± 0.5
Source: Data table 10A.29

Timelessness of primary healthcare services

Median time waited for public dental care, 2018-19

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable or complete.

Data are available in attachment tables 10A.31–38.

GP waiting times for urgent appointment 2017-18 — less than 4 hours

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 61.1 ± 4.1 64.0 ± 6.1 60.3 ± 7.4 61.7 ± 5.2 54.8 ± 5.8 46.8 ± 6.6 43.8 ± 10.0 64.5 ± 11.7 60.9 ± 3.0
Source: Data table 10A.39

Potentially avoidable presentations to emergency departments

Selected potentially avoidable presentations to emergency departments, 2018-19

Most recent data for this measure are not comparable but are complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
no. 1 158 508 625 305 408 702 376 518 159 212 62 609 51 244 60 507 2 902 605
Source: Data table 10A.30

Effectiveness — Appropriateness

Chronic disease management

Proportion of people aged 18 to 69 years with known diabetes who have a HbA1c (glycated haemoglobin) level less than or equal to 7.0 per cent, by sex, 2011-12

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 56.7 ± 14.9 35.5 ± 32.4 46.4 ± 13.9 61.3 ± 20.1 52.1 ± 29.1 69.9 ± 15.7 44.3 ± 26.9 47.7 ± 29.3 50.5 ± 8.7
Source: Data table 10A.42

Proportion of people with asthma with a written asthma action plan, 2017-18

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 31.9 ± 5.8 32.3 ± 5.6 32.4 ± 5.8 33.0 ± 10.5 35.4 ± 6.8 32.1 ± 6.7 32.8 ± 7.6 33.5 ± 8.3 32.3 ± 3.1
Source: Data table 10A.43

Immunisation coverage

Children aged 60 to 63 months who were fully immunised, 2018-19

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 94.7 95.7 94.7 93.7 94.9 95.6 94.7 94.1 94.9
Source: Data table 10A.45

Cancer screening

Participation rates for women in breast cancer screening, 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2018

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 53.1 53.7 54.6 55.4 58.7 59.4 56.4 38.3 54.3
Source: Data table 10A.46

Participation rates for women in cervical screening, 2018 (ASR)

Most recent data for this measure are comparable, subject to caveats. Data are incomplete for the current reporting period as, following a change in the national screening program, only data for 2018 are available.
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 51.5 53.8 54.6 57.2 60.8 58.2 49.1 50.9 54.1
Source: Data table 10A.48

Participation rates for persons in bowel cancer screening, 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2018

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 39.3 45.2 40.8 43.8 47.5 47.8 44.7 29.0 42.4
Source: Data table 10A.49

Effectiveness — Quality — Safety

General practices with accreditation

Proportion of general practices with accreditation, 2019

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 80.6 84.0 89.1 87.6 84.1 83.5 85.3 61.5 83.8
Source: Attachment tables 10A.50

Effectiveness — Quality — Responsiveness

Patient satisfaction

Proportion of people who saw a GP in the previous 12 months where the practitioner always or often listened carefully to them, 2018-19

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 92.7 ± 0.5 91.2 ± 1.1 91.7 ± 0.5 92.3 ± 1.0 91.2 ± 1.5 89.9 ± 1.1 91.3 ± 1.5 86.8 ± 0.8 91.8 ± 0.3
Source: Data table 10A.51

Proportion of people who saw a dental practitioner in the previous 12 months where the practitioner always or often listened carefully to them, 2018-19

Most recent data for this measure comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 96.1 ± 4.0 95.8 ± 1.0 97.2 ± 1.0 96.2 ± 0.8 96.0 ± 1.1 95.3 ± 1.4 94.4 ± 0.1 93.5 ± 3.0 96.2 ± 0.4
Source: Data table 10A.53

Effectiveness — Quality — Continuity

Continuity of care

Proportion of GP management plans and team care assessment plans that have been reviewed in the past 12 months, 2018-19

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
% 75.6 66.6 77.2 79.8 78.8 73.9 70.8 66.0 74.1
Source: Data table 10A.55

Effectiveness — Sustainability

Workforce sustainability

Proportion of FTE GPs in ten year age brackets, 2018-19

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
<35 % 10.0 10.6 11.2 11.4 10.4 12.3 6.6 12.5 10.6
35-44 % 22.7 25.1 26.1 27.0 23.4 19.6 28.5 37.7 24.6
45-54 % 26.9 26.9 28.8 28.4 30.9 28.8 30.9 28.1 27.8
55-64 % 26.2 25.9 24.5 22.4 23.0 29.0 23.6 15.4 25.1
65+ % 14.3 11.5 9.6 10.8 12.3 10.3 10.4 6.4 11.9
Source: Data table 10A.56

Efficiency indicators

Cost of government of general practice per person

Expenditure per person on general practice, 2018-19

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
$ 399.0 373.5 420.3 360.8 399.3 390.8 294.9 373.4 391.1
Source: Data table 10A.2

Outcome indicators

Notifications of selected childhood diseases

Notifications of measles per 100 000 children aged 0–14 years, 2018-19

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Rate 1.2 0.5 np 1.2 np 9.4 0.8
Source: Data table 10A.57

Selected potentially preventable hospitalisations

Separations for selected potentially preventable hospitalisations, 2017-18 (per 1000 people)

Most recent data for this measure are comparable and complete, subject to caveats
 NSWVicQldWASATasACTNTAust
Rate 24.8 27.0 34.1 25.8 27.4 25.6 21.4 58.0 27.9
Source: Data table 10A.58

Notes

These data and caveats for these data are available in section 10 and relevant data table.

Some percentages reported in these tables include 95 per cent confidence intervals.

# Proportion has a margin of error of greater than 10 percentage points which should be considered when using this information.

.. Not applicable. – Nil or rounded to zero. np Not published.

Performance indicator data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in this section are available in the data tables listed below. Contextual data and further supporting information can be found in the section.

Primary and community health data disaggregated for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Table number Table title
Table 10A.17 Approved providers of PBS medicines by PhARIA area at 30 June
Table 10A.18 Approved providers of PBS medicines by geolocation, at 30 June
Table 10A.24 Annual health assessments for older people by Indigenous status (per cent)
Table 10A.25 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who received a health check or assessment, by age (per cent)
Table 10A.31 Median waiting time for public dental care, NSW (days)
Table 10A.32 Median waiting time for public dental care, Victoria (days)
Table 10A.33 Median waiting time for public dental care, Queensland (days)
Table 10A.34 Median waiting time for public dental care, WA (days)
Table 10A.35 Median waiting time for public dental care, SA (days)
Table 10A.36 Median waiting time for public dental care, Tasmania (days)
Table 10A.37 Median waiting time for public dental care, ACT (days)
Table 10A.38 Median waiting time for public dental care, NT (days)
Table 10A.47 Participation rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women screened by BreastScreen Australia (24 month period) (first and subsequent rounds) (per cent)
Table 10A.59 Separations for selected potentially preventable hospitalisations by Indigenous status (per 1000 people)
Table 10A.61 Separations for selected potentially preventable hospitalisations by Indigenous status and remoteness, Australia (per 1000 people)
Table 10A.62 Separations for selected vaccine preventable conditions by Indigenous status (per 1000 people)
Table 10A.63 Separations for selected acute conditions by Indigenous status (per 1000 people)
Table 10A.64 Separations for selected chronic conditions by Indigenous status (per 1000 people)
Table 10A.65 Ratio of separations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to all Australians, diabetes