Women’s Health Data: Access to services
Access to services such as health care, housing and transport has a strong impact on women’s health status. Financial and other barriers to accessing these services differ between various groups of women.
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Women, more often than men, defer accessing a range of health services because of cost. Services commonly deferred include visits to dentists (23.5%), specialists (10.6%), GPs (8.7% and prescriptions (11.2%)1.
In 2011-12, 85.6% of women attended a GP consultation, compared with 76.2% of men1.
Up to the age of 55 years, women are approximately twice as likely to be admitted to hospital as men. This is partly attributable to obstetric treatments2.
Women are more likely than men to find cost a barrier when accessing GP services2.
Almost two times more women than men report being unable to access an after-hours GP service when they need one2.
Women aged 25 to 54 years are more likely than men of the same age to have seen three or more health professionals for a single condition2.
In contrast to the homeless population identified through the Census, the majority of people (59%) supported by specialist homeless agencies are women3.
Domestic and family violence is the primary reason women seek assistance from homelessness support services in Australia4.
16% of Victorian women do not have access to a vehicle and are unable to travel to places they need to5.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
Of clients who use SAAP services, the percentage of women who identify as indigenous (21%) is far greater than the percentage of men who identify as indigenous (14%)6.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children escaping domestic violence, sexual abuse and partners using drugs, can find it difficult to access appropriate housing services and, as a result, may live transiently7.
Homeless Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children often stay with family and friends in overcrowded houses because there is nowhere else to go. This situation leaves them vulnerable to experiences of violence and abuse7.
Women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds
- People who were not born in Australia are a little less likely than people born in Australia to have seen a GP in the last 12 months (77% and 82% respectively)1.
Women with disabilities
- Girls and younger women with a disability are more likely than older women to use disability support services. In 2010-11, women aged 15 to 24 years had the highest rate of disability support service use (47%) and women aged 55 to 64 years had the lowest (21%)1.
Same-sex attracted women
Same-sex attracted women access screening less frequently than heterosexual women. They are more likely to delay treatment and are less likely to have a regular general practitioner8.
One of the major issues for ageing lesbians is prejudicial attitudes in aged-care institutions, highlighting the need to train providers and agencies in this area8.
- COAG Reform Council. Tracking equity: Comparing outcomes for women and girls across Australia Report to the Council of Australian Governments 21 October 2013. [cited 20 November 2013] Available from: http://www.coagreformcouncil.gov.au/reports/gender-equity/tracking-equity-comparing-outcomes-women-and-girls-across-australia. ↩
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. Health Services: Patient experiences in Australia, 2009. Cat. No. 4839.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS; 2010 [cited 21 August 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4839.0.55.0012009?OpenDocument. ↩
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. National social housing survey: state and territory results 2010. Cat. no. HOU 264. Canberra: AIHW; 2012 [cited 21 August 2013] Available from: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=10737422570. ↩
- Spinney, A. (2012) Home and safe? : policy and practice innovations to prevent women and children who have experienced domestic and family violence from becoming homeless, AHURI Final Report No.196. Melbourne: Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute [cited 21 August 2013] Available from: http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/projects/p50602. ↩
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. General social survey, Victoria, 2006. Cat. no. 4159.2.55.001. Canberra: ABS; 2007 [cited 4 December 2013] Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/4159.2.55.0012006?OpenDocument . ↩
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Government-funded specialist homelessness services: SAAP national data collection annual report 2008-09. Cat. no. HOU219; 2010 [cited 21 August 2013]. Available from: http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/hou/219/11235.pdf. ↩
- Cooper, L. & Morris, M. How to help Indigenous families into stable housing and sustainable tenancies. Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI), Melbourne, Research and Policy Bulletin.2005; 56 [cited 21 August 2013]. Available from: http://www.ahuri.edu.au/publications/download/ahuri_rap_issue_56. ↩
- McNair, R. Lesbian health inequalities: a cultural minority issue for health professionals. MJA: The Medical Journal of Australia. 178 (12): 643-645. Also available online: EMJA; 2003 [cited 4 December 2013] Available from: http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/178_12_160603/mcn10852_fm.html. ↩
Published: February 2014
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