The legal needs of older people ( 2004 ) Cite this report
Ch 5. Health
The burgeoning costs of health care have resulted in a shift of responsibility to provide services from the State to the individual. This shift is reflected in the increased prevalence of, and reliance on, private health insurance,29 and in government incentives for people to use private health insurance. The waiting lists for public hospitals are also increasing,30 and the number of consultations bulk-billed by GPs throughout Australia fell from 80 per cent in 1995–1996 to 71 per cent in September 2002.31
In 1999–2000, approximately 24 per cent of non-hospital GP services were provided to the 12 per cent of the population who are over 65. The rate of use of GP services by older people is also more than double that of people under the age of 65.32 With older people accessing medical and health care services more than other age groups, the impact of allocation of resources to health care will have a significant influence on older people’s ability to access proper health care.