New report: Local patients have regular GP and feel involved in decisions about their care
Nearly all patients in South Eastern NSW aged 45 years and over have a usual GP or place of care according to a new report recently released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The report Coordination of health care: experiences with GP care among patients aged 45 and over (2016), shows that 97.7% of patients in South Eastern NSW aged 45 years or over have a regular GP or regular place of care, and more than 86% of patients rated this care as excellent or very good. “Health systems can be difficult to navigate, especially for people who require care from multiple providers,” said Mr Gow, Acting CEO of COOORDINARE – South Eastern NSW PHN. “Having a regular GP or place where a patient receives care – such as a clinic they usually attend – can help to improve and better coordinate the care,” he said. The report also shows that more than 92% of patients in South Eastern NSW felt involved in decisions about their care – seeing the South Eastern NSW PHN catchment ranked number one amongst all reportable Australian PHNs. “Supporting patients to be actively involved in their own care, treatment and support can improve health outcomes and experiences. “We were delighted to see that patients in our region felt that they were involved in decisions about their care, and that their test results were explained in a way they could understand (94.4%),” he said. However, the report shows that the PHN was below the Australian average in regard to the self accessed status. “Unfortunately, only 80% rated their health as excellent, very good or good health,” said Mr Gow. “As the South Eastern NSW PHN, we have an important role to play in improving coordinated and comprehensive care in the region. “We will continue to work with general practice and other health services to build more integrated models of care for local patients,” he added.