New NAB data shows Australians are more conscious of their health than ever before, with around four in 10 Australians switching GP in the last year.
Almost six in 10 Australians said the most important consideration when choosing a health professional was finding someone who listens to them and is trustworthy.
Cost was a key driver of switching for many consumers (29%), but lack of care and compassion (27%) and difficulty getting an appointment (26%) were also important factors.
NAB Executive for Business Metro, Michael Saadie, said the research shows Australians are becoming more proactive in managing their health.
“The pandemic transformed the healthcare system with providers innovating to meet growing consumer demands and needs,” Mr Saadie said.
“The research shows above all else, people are looking for strong relationships with their healthcare providers, valuing compassion, listening ability and personal rapport.
“It also shows us while we’re demanding more of our healthcare providers, consumers are very satisfied with the care they receive once they find the right fit for them.”
Pharmacies were rated Australia’s most accessible health provider, scoring an average of 8.9 out of 10, where 10 was “extremely easy”.
Lawrence Nguyen, Managing Director at Mediconsul Pharmacy Group, said building trust has been crucial as customers have come to expect more from pharmacists.
“During COVID-19 we saw more and more customers coming in to see us as we were accessible and available to help in any way we could. People would come in for everything from mosquito bites and COVID vaccinations to mental health support. That trend hasn’t changed,” Mr Nguyen said.
“To better support our customers with mental health and wellbeing, we’ve re-purposed our consultation room as a private space where customers can discuss any challenges they’re facing. We know how much our customers value us listening to and being there for them.”
The NAB research also shows mental health is a key concern for many Australians, with 43% feeling they needed professional help managing their emotions, stress or mental health over the past year. This number was highest in 18- to 24-year-olds at 69%.
“In the past year alone, our lending to the health sector was more than $16.8 billion, up 13.7% compared to the previous year. The number of new Health customers we support has also grown 20% in the past year,” Mr Saadie said.
“Healthcare is central to thriving communities and we’re proud to support such a critical industry.”
Notes to editors:
- NAB Health has been servicing healthcare professionals and businesses for over 20 years.
- HICAPS is NAB Health’s dedicated payment platform and is the original and leading claims solution, with innovation that has reliably delivered to provider needs for 25 years, and is now for all of healthcare, disability and care.
- Established in 1990 – Medfin Finance is designed to support doctors, dentists, vets and allied health professionals with financial solutions. Medfin Finance is part of the NAB Group.
- The NAB Health Insights Special Report is based on a survey of over 2,000 Australians sharing their views across a range of topics including visitation to health professionals, accessibility, patient satisfaction, practitioner switching, affordability and impacts from the rising cost of living.
- Read the full NAB Health Insights Special Report here