Unmet need for GP services due to a lack of transport

This section presents statistics on people who had a medical problem but did not visit a GP due to a lack of transport, in the previous 12 months.

Transport is important for connecting people to healthcare services, as well as education, family, community, shops and recreation. Not being able to access healthcare when needed can lead to an unmet need, and a potential worsening of health.  

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About 144,000 New Zealanders missed out on a GP visit due to no transport in 2015/16
Women more likely to experience an unmet GP need due to lack of transport
About 1 in 12 Māori and Pacific adults affected
Almost 7% of people living in the most deprived areas experience this unmet need
Hawke's Bay and Hutt DHBs had higher levels of this unmet need

About 144,000 New Zealanders missed out on a GP visit due to no transport in 2015/16

In 2015/16, 2.8% of children and 3.2% of adults had a medical problem but did not visit a GP due to a lack of transport, in the past 12 months. This is about 25,000 children and 119,000 adults.

There has been little change between 2011/12 (3.0% of children and 3.4% of adults) and 2015/16 (Figure 1).  

Figure 1: Unmet need for GP services due to a lack of transport in the past 12 months, 2011/12 - 2015/16 (unadjusted prevalence and 95% confidence intervals)
Graph unmet need time trend

Women more likely to experience an unmet GP need due to lack of transport

In 2015/16, women had higher rates of unmet GP need due to a lack of transport (4.1%) than men (2.3%). 

People aged 10–14 years and 65–74 years had lower rates of unmet GP need due to a lack of transport than other age groups (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Unmet need for GP services due to a lack of transport in the past 12 months, by age group, 2015/16 (unadjusted prevalence and 95% confidence intervals)
Graph unmet need by age group

About 1 in 12 Māori and Pacific adults affected

Māori and Pacific peoples had much higher rates of unmet GP need due to a lack of transport than other ethnic groups. In 2015/16, this unmet need affected:

  • 8.6% of Pacific adults and 7.4% of Pacific childen
  • 8.2% of Māori adults and 5.3% of Māori children
  • 2.4% of Asian adults and 2.1% of Asian children
  • 2.4% of European/Other adults and 1.6% of European/Other children.

Almost 7% of people living in the most deprived areas experience this unmet need

People living in the most deprived areas (NZDep2013 quintile 5) were much more likely than other people to have had an unmet GP need due to lack of transport (Figure 3).

In 2015/16, 6.7% of people (or 1 in 15) living in the most deprived areas had an unmet GP need due to a lack of transport in the past 12 months. 

Figure 3: Unmet need for GP services due to a lack of transport in the last 12 months, by socioeconomic deprivation (NZDep2013 quintiles), 2015/16 (unadjusted prevalence and 95% confidence intervals)
Graph unmet need by NZDep 

Hawke's Bay and Hutt DHBs had higher levels of this unmet need

In 2011–14, rates of unmet GP need due to a lack of transport were significantly higher than the national rates in the following district health boards (DHBs) (Figure 4):

  • Hawke's Bay (7.3% of children, 8.0% of adults) 
  • Hutt (5.0% of children, 5.8% of adults)
  • Counties Manukau (5.1% of children).

Figure 4: Unmet need for GP services due to lack of transport in the last 12 months, by district health board (DHB), 2011-14 (unadjusted prevalence and 95% confidence intervals)
Graph unmet need by DHB

Information about the data

Unmet need for GP services due to a lack of transport

Source: New Zealand Health Survey (2011/12–2015/16), Ministry of Health

Definition: Children aged 0–14 years and adults aged 15+ years who had a medical problem but did not visit a GP due to a lack of transport, in the past 12 months. 

For more information, visit the Ministry of Health's webpage on the New Zealand Health Survey.

Data can be found from the Ministry of Health's webpage on  data from the 2015/16 New Zealand Health Survey. The DHB data is available on the Ministry of Health's  Regional results from the 2011-14 New Zealand Health Survey webpage.