Service accessibility

Service Accessibility

The accessibility of services in terms of availability, physical distance, technology and transport are important measures of our community’s connectivity and wellbeing.

Access to services is especially important to maintain the health and wellbeing of our communities, provide opportunities for learning and skill development and to improve the social connectivity of isolated individuals.

Indicators: Public transport patronage (new indicator)
Accessibility of health services (including mental health)
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Data sources: Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
City of Onkaparinga, Community Wellbeing Monitor survey 2016
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Strategies / Plans: Integrated Movement and Transport Strategy (under development)
Placemaking Strategy 2014-19
Regional Public Health Plan 2015
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Community Plan 2035: Objective 1.2 Connected and accessible places
Objective 2.2 Dynamic and safe communitiesties
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Public transport patronage

It is important to have an effective public transport system as this enables a sense of social connectivity within the community. Moreover, it promotes a more liveable and sustainable city. The utilisation of public transport can contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, while promoting social connections, active healthy lifestyles, and economic savings, at the level of both individuals and the community.

Data was sourced from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, Government of South Australia, the most recent data available for analysis was for the financial year 2014-15 (28). Patronage data includes inter- and intra-area transport. 

Data analysis

In 2014-15 there was more than 8,024,500 million patrons utilising public transport in the region of the City of Onkaparinga. Bus patronage accounted for 54.9 per cent (over 4,402,800 patrons) and train patronage accounted for 45.1 per cent (over 3,621,700 patrons) (Figure 1). 

Figure 1: Total number of public transport patrons, City of Onkaparinga, 2008-09 to 2014-15

CWM Total number of public transport patrons, City of Onkaparinga, 2008-09 to 2014-15
Source: Department Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (28)

 

 

Trend analysis

CWM public transport trend analysis

When comparing the total number of patrons using public transport in 2014-15 with usage in 2008-09, there was a 1.2 per cent increase in patronage, which equates to an increase of more than 92,700 patrons (Figure 1).

When comparing 2014-15 with 2008-09 there was an increase of 4.5 per cent in train patronage, but in contrast, a decrease in bus patronage by 1.5 per cent (Figure 1).

Moreover, it should be noted that the decrease in the number of public transport patrons traveling by train between 2012-13 and 2013-14 was probably due to the Seaford rail extension and electrification that occurred between the calendar year of 2013. While substitute buses were made available during the closure, there were probably a certain proportion of patrons who would have chosen to travel by car.

Policy implications

Increased public transport use is an ambition of the draft Integrated Movement and Transport Strategy (under development) which will contribute to achieving Community Plan Objective 1.2 Connected and accessible places. The relatively small growth in public transport uptake is surprising given the experienced market shift to our ‘new urban form’ (for example medium density housing) in Seaford, Seaford Meadows and Christies Beach. This may be in response to an improved road network through the completion of the Southern Expressway duplication or simply reflects consumer preference to drive. Notwithstanding, it is possible that we will see further increases in public transport use over the coming data collection periods in response to further growth in areas well served by public transport. The construction of the Darlington Upgrade Project (occurring between 2016 and late 2018) is also likely to generate an increase in public transport utilisation as commuters that would generally travel by car may in turn utilise public transport to avoid driving through this slowed work zone. Likewise, following the completion of these upgrades we expect a reduction of public transport utilisation as commuters change modes back to private vehicles.

Accessibility of health services

Essential services such as general practitioners (GPs), healthcare and community services should be available and easily accessible by the community.

The 2016 Community Wellbeing Monitor Survey (10) assessed whether residents in our community had difficulty accessing general health services, including general practitioners, dental services, women’s health services or sexual health services. It also further assessed the number of residents who had accessed mental health services, and of those who had difficulties accessing mental services. Mental health problems or illness refers to the ranges of diagnosable cognitive, emotional and behavioural disorders that interfere with the lives and productivity of people.

To determine whether our community had any difficulty in accessing health services within the city, respondents were asked whether in the past 12 months they had experienced any difficulty accessing the following:

  1. General practitioner
  2. Other health services such as dental, women’s health, sexual health services.

In a second part of the survey, respondents were asked whether they had accessed mental health services and whether they had any difficulty in accessing mental health services. The specific questions respondents were asked as part of the survey included:

  1. In the past 12 months there had been a need for them to access mental health services
  2. Of those that had accessed mental health services, had they experienced any difficulty accessing these services and, if they had, what were the main reasons for the difficulty
  3. Were they currently on a waiting list and how long had they been on the waiting list

A total of 411 respondents completed this year’s Community Wellbeing Monitor Survey.

Data analysis

Accessibility of health services

There was a total of 17 participants who did not provide a response for this question, who were excluded from the analysis.

There was only a small proportion of respondents who indicated that they had difficulty accessing healthcare services within the last 12 months. Of this small group a greater proportion had difficulty accessing a GP compared with other healthcare services
(Figure 2). Only 15.7 per cent of respondents had difficulty accessing a GP, with an even smaller proportion of respondents (8.1 per cent) having difficulty accessing other healthcare services.

Two of the main reasons difficulties were experienced when accessing health services were extensive waiting times for appointments and financial burden. Other comments related to inconvenient appointment times and locations, transportation issues and inappropriate accessibility for people with disabilities.

 

Figure 2: Proportion of survey respondents reporting difficulty accessing health services, City of Onkaparinga, 2013 and 2016

CWM Proportion of survey respondents reporting difficulty accessing health services, City of Onkaparinga, 2013 and 2016
Source: City of Onkaparinga, Community Wellbeing Monitor Survey (10)

 

Accessibility of mental health services

There was a total of 18 participants who did not provide a response for this question, who were excluded from the analysis.

There was only a small proportion of respondents who indicated that they had accessed mental health services within the last 12 months (Table 1). In 2016, of those that did utilise mental health services more than one third of them experienced difficulties
(Table 1).

Table 1: Proportion of respondents accessing mental health services and those who experienced difficulty, City of Onkaparinga, 2013 and 2016

Mental Health Accessibility (%) 2013 2016
Accessed mental health services 10.8 11.5
Difficult accessing services 34.5 42.2

Source: City of Onkaparinga, Community Wellbeing Monitor Survey (10)

 

The main difficulties experienced when accessing mental health services were lack of information or inability to locate appropriate services, extensive waiting times for appointments, extensive travel due to lack of services within the City of Onkaparinga, being refused service and financial burden.

In 2016, of the 45 respondents who had accessed mental health services, only five of them were on a waiting list. The average time spent on the waiting list to access mental health services was nine and a half weeks.

Trend analysis

CWM accessibility of health services trend analysis

Accessibility of health services

There was an improvement in the accessibility of GPs and other healthcare services between the years of 2013 and 2016 (Figure 2). There was a 37.1 per cent reduction in respondents indicating they had difficulty accessing a GP in 2016 compared with 2013, and similarly, there was a 36.3 per cent reduction in difficulties associated with accessing other types of healthcare services between 2016 and 2013.

Accessibility of mental health services

There was a slight increase (6.5 per cent) in the proportion of respondents who had accessed mental health services between the years of 2013 and 2016 (Table 1). There was also an increase of 22.3 per cent in the proportion of respondents who experienced difficulty when accessing mental health services between the years of 2013 and 2016.

 

Policy implications

While there was an improvement in the accessibility of GPs and other health care services between 2013 and 2016, there was an increase in both the proportion of respondents seeking access to mental health services and an increase in difficulties experienced when accessing mental health services. While the Community Plan Objective 2.2 Dynamic and Safe Communities continues to address the difficulties in accessing mental health services, the City of Onkaparinga may have to work more closely with the State Government to better identify residents experiencing mental health issues and improve methods for the delivery of early intervention. Through the aims of the Regional Public Health Plan 2015, the City of Onkaparinga will continue to promote access to health and community facilities and disseminate information to increase communities’ understanding about mental health conditions and how to access these services.

Through both the Regional Public Health Plan 2015 and the Placemaking Strategy 2014-19 the City of Onkaparinga will continue to advance links and accessibility to services through improvements in public transport, footpath and bikeway links, and also advocate to seek support from state and federal government and local businesses to improve place-based services and programs.

 

 

This indicator is linked to other strategies, plans and targets outlined below:

Government of South Australia South Australia’s Strategic Plan Targets: 63. Use of public transport: increase the use of public transport to 10 per cent of metropolitan weekday passenger vehicle kilometres travelled by 2018.  
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Other State Strategies • Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan
• Transforming Health
• Mental Health and Wellbeing Policy 2010-15
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National Strategies: • Infrastructure Australia: Urban Transport Strategy 2013
• National Primary Health Care Strategic Framework
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National Mental Health Strategy
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