Multiple health conditions and barriers to healthcare among older Australians: prevalence, reasons and types of barriers
AuthorTemple, JB; Williams, R
Source TitleAustralian Journal of Primary Health
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsTemple, J. B. & Williams, R. (2018). Multiple health conditions and barriers to healthcare among older Australians: prevalence, reasons and types of barriers. AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PRIMARY HEALTH, 24 (1), pp.82-89. https://doi.org/10.1071/PY17038.
Access StatusOpen Access
Accompanying population ageing is an increase in the number of older Australians living with multiple health conditions and disabilities (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014). This study sought to examine the barriers to accessing healthcare faced by older Australians. Utilising the 2014 Australian Bureau of Statistics General Social Survey, it was found that 6% of respondents aged 50 years and over reported experiencing a barrier to accessing healthcare within the previous 12 months. Those with multiple health conditions are at a considerably higher risk of experiencing a barrier to healthcare (21% with four or more disabilities) compared with people with no or fewer health conditions, and this risk persists once wide-ranging control variables are included. Long waiting times or unavailability of appointments (43%) were the main type of barriers to accessing healthcare, followed by cost (23%). Points-of-care barriers experienced included accessing GPs, specialists and hospital sector care. Respondents who experienced a barrier were more likely to have low levels of trust in the healthcare system compared with people who had no experience of barriers to healthcare, and were more likely to have a perception of experiencing discrimination or unfair treatment in a healthcare setting.
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