Cost of health care in NSW forcing people to delay or avoid seeing a doctor
NCOSS, NATSEM and HCNSW reports showing health care in NSW not equitable for everyone
New research, commissioned by the NSW Council of Social Services (NCOSS) and undertaken by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) and us, shows the relationship between economic disadvantage and patient experience of health services across New South Wales.
The research, and the patient stories we collected, focus on the costs, delays and expectations experienced by patients of General Practitioners, private and public dental, and medical specialist services in NSW.
What our interviewees said:
“I suffer on, I reschedule, and have to cancel due to the cost.” – Respondent to cost of healthcare survey
“We could not find a cardiologist who would bulk bill.” – Respondent to cost of healthcare survey
“…if we had to delay, we didn’t get a script which meant the boys didn’t have their medication”. – Emma (name changed), mum of two boys with ADHD and on the spectrum
“… I don’t know what to do next,… I can’t live in pain for two years and not be able to eat. What do you do?” – Laila (name changed), retiree in far west NSW.
The Consumer Stories of Patient Experience and Economic Disadvantage in NSW was commissioned by NCOSS and realised by us. It is an important companion report that puts a human face to the demographic and geographic data contained in the Mapping Patient Experience and Economic Disadvantage in NSW report and online maps by NATSEM. It draws on recent survey findings, real-life experiences and consumer stories to highlight the multiple, diverse and complex challenges facing many people in the community. It illustrates that the costs of healthcare are often unaffordable and can compound other costs of living expenses, placing households in financial precarity and stress.