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Media release

Report compares the NSW health system against 11 other countries

The latest report published today by the Bureau of Health Information (the Bureau) compares the healthcare in NSW to Australia and 10 other countries including the UK, Canada, US, France, Netherlands, Sweden and Germany.

The fourth annual performance report, Healthcare in Focus 2013, contains more than 135 measures and draws on a range of data sources to build a comprehensive whole of system picture of healthcare in NSW, in an international context.

Chief Executive of the Bureau of Health Information, Jean-Frederic Levesque said:

"Healthcare in Focus reconfirms the good performance of NSW on the international stage. Comparing the state with high performing countries internationally provides insights into those areas where NSW is a leader.

"From the patients’ point of view, this report shows how well the system achieves its objectives of providing care when and where it is needed; delivering the right healthcare, in the right way; and ensuring healthcare makes a difference for patients."

The report found that NSW compares favourably in the international context, with the third highest percentage of adults responding that the system worked 'pretty well and only minor changes were needed to make the system work better', placing NSW behind only the United Kingdom and Sweden.

Areas where NSW performs well include:

  • Out of 11 international health systems NSW had the highest proportion of adults reporting that hospitals ensured follow up after hospitalisation (81%)
  • NSW had the third highest percentage of adults saying that hospital staff discussed medications with them (86%) behind the United States and the UK
  • NSW has relatively short hospital stays compared with the other 11 systems

Potential areas for improvement include:

  • Just over one third (37%) of adults reported that their GP surgery helps coordinate their care, this is down from over 54% in 2010
  • Cost emerged as an important consideration for patients, 15% of individuals in NSW said they would skip a consultation or medication due to cost
  • NSW has the highest rate of caesarean delivery of the international comparators making up 319 of every 1,000 births in NSW hospitals in 2011, a 32% increase since 2001.

"We hope that Healthcare in Focus 2013 will provide new insights for people to better understand areas of excellence as well as areas that might be targeted for improvements in coming years," Dr Levesque said.

View the report at

Page updated: 18 Apr 2019