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Media release

NSW results: Healthcare performance ranked against 10 countries

Results from an international survey that compares the performance of the NSW healthcare system with Australia and 10 other countries were published today.

It focuses on people aged 65+ years – of which there are more than 1.2 million people living in NSW.

The international survey asked more than 24,000 people aged 65+ years about their views and experiences of their healthcare system.

BHI Acting Chief Executive Dr Kim Sutherland said that while the NSW system generally performs well, there are still areas where improvement could be made.

“This survey gathers and compares the views of patients aged 65+ years in NSW and other developed countries, providing valuable insights into different aspects of care,” Dr Sutherland said.

“We can see from the results that while 71% of people in NSW were happy with the healthcare they received, this result is significantly lower than in six comparator countries.”

The survey results highlight that there is some unmet need in NSW, particularly in terms of barriers to accessing care.

“A quarter of the people surveyed said it was very difficult to access medical care after hours without going to a hospital emergency department,” Dr Sutherland said.

“Results show 14% of people reported skipping medication, a consultation, test or follow-up care for financial reasons in NSW – and 21% said they did not visit a dentist when they needed to because of the cost.”

Of the people who reported experiencing emotional distress or anxiety, 33% said they were able to get help from a professional when they needed it; 54% said they did not want to see a professional, despite experiencing distress or anxiety; and 13% said they could not get help or could not afford it.

Results were more positive about how well patients rated the coordination of care between healthcare professionals:

  • 92% of people reported arrangements were in place for follow-up care after discharge from hospital (NSW had the highest result internationally).
  • 90% of people with a chronic condition said they had a treatment plan that they can carry out in their daily life (NSW had the highest result internationally).

However, only 67% of people said their GP involved them, as much as they wanted to be, in decisions about their care and treatment.

The 2017 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey allows healthcare system benchmarking and supports comparisons with Australia and 10 other countries – Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The survey results, presented in a chartpack and Excel format, are available at

Page updated: 18 Apr 2019