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NSW still facing health care challenges

24 November 2011 - 2:28pm

Affordable and accessible health care is still an issue for some residents in New South Wales, according to a new report.

The second annual report from the Bureau of Health Information (BHI) - entitled Healthcare in Focus 2011: How well does NSW perform - compared the state's health care with that of ten other countries in order identify opportunities for improvement in the sector.

According to the report, just over half of those surveyed had a "medical home" where four key aspects of care are all met.

BHI chief executive Dr Diane Watson explained the data also indicated that one quarter of adults in Australia were reported to have been hospitalised in the past two years - 10 per cent higher than that of other countries such as Canada and the UK.

NSW patients also recorded higher out-of-pocket health costs than other countries, with more than 40 per cent of families reporting that they had spent more than $1,000 on medical care - a higher percentage than in nine countries.

Those looking to reduce hospital waiting times and out-of-pocket medical costs may benefit from taking out a private health insurance policy.

"Only the US had a higher percentage of sicker adults who reported cost as a barrier to accessing doctors, medicines, tests and treatments," Dr Watson said.