Most on North Coast happy with their health and GP access

MOST North Coast residents are happy with their health services and access to GPs, says a report released today.

The first Healthy Communities report from the National Health Performance Authority, has provided North Coast Medicare Local (NCML) with information on access to, and the quality of GP care across the region and how patients feel about their doctor.

The authority will be reporting on other allied health practitioners at a later date.

The report relies on data available nationally (mainly from 2010/11) and its sample size (27,000 people surveyed across 61 Medicare Local regions) means that it is more an indicator of trends.

"The report is useful information with encouraging results for the North Coast," said NCML's CEO Vahid Saberi.

"It is pleasing to see that 84% of those surveyed said they viewed their health as excellent, very good or good, and the same percentage on the North Coast said they had a preferred GP. The average number of GP attendances on the North Coast during 2011/12 was six visits."

The survey also indicates that:

  •  84% saw a GP in the previous 12 months
  •  89% felt their GP always or often listened carefully to them
  •  19% felt they waited longer than acceptable for a GP appointment
  •  8% delayed or did not see a GP due to cost barriers
  •  The number per person of GP After Hours attendances in 2011/12 was 0.12, which is low

"It's encouraging to see that as a region with patients with a high degree of socio-economic disadvantage, an aged population with many over 65, and a high percentage of chronic disease, our GPs are meeting the challenge and our community enjoys good general practice care," said Mr Saberi.

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