According to the latest news report on the Newcastle Herald Newspaper, a major barrier for Australians who are struggling financially is the cost to the doctors and the ongoing cost of medication.
In the latest national health report, where over 27,000 Australians were surveyed, the prevalence of chronic disease is one of the highest in the Hunter region. In 2011 to 2012, the survey in the national health report found that 53 percent of people living in the Hunter Medicare Local catchment area have a long-term health condition deemed by the health professionals, in which they require long term medication and ongoing health support.
1 in 10 however, reported that they deliberately delayed visits to the doctor, medical specialist or filling out a script because of the cost associated with these actions. Avoiding the complete situation seemed to be an option for many Australians who are living in low social economic areas. In fact, 9 percent of these individuals surveyed did not see the GP due to cost reasons
“Parts of the country where people have the poorest health are no more likely to face reduced waiting times for medical specialists or lower cost barriers to visit a GP, dentist, or specialist”
– Dr Watson, author of the report