Evaluation of the National External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement Program

4.1 Awareness and use of the National External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement Program

Page last updated: 05 November 2010

4.1.1 Awareness

As indicated by figure 7, 88% of the 362 respondents who completed the survey were aware of the program prior to the survey. Less than one tenth (8%) of women who had not accessed the program said that this was because they had not heard about the program before.

Only one out of the five Arabic-speaking women who participated in the focus group was aware of the program, suggesting that levels of awareness of the program may differ considerably among Australian communities.

Survey respondents were asked how, or where, they had heard about the program. Results are shown in figure 8 below. The leading source of information about the program was breast care nurses, with around four in ten respondents (42%) hearing about the program through this avenue.

About one in three women had been informed about the program by breast prosthesis suppliers (34%). Other major sources of information about the program included the Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) website (19%), through word of mouth (16%), at Medicare Australia offices (14%) and through local breast cancer support groups (12%).

It is apparent from the total number of responses to this question (636, nearly twice the number of respondents), that most respondents encountered information about the program in more than one place.

Respondents consulted during the administrative review expressed concern that there were women who were not aware of the program. As discussed in section 3.1.1, it was reported that lack of awareness was a primary factor in women not accessing the program. The results highlighted in the figure above suggest that there are a number of avenues through which women are finding out about the program, however these are not necessarily being utilised to their full potential, and not all women will have had exposure to one of these sources during the life of the program.

Among survey respondents, awareness of the program varied significantly according to jurisdiction, with those in Australia's Capital Territory (100%), Victoria (96%), New South Wales (91%) and Tasmania (90%) having greater awareness than those in Queensland (88%), Western Australia (85%), South Australia (82%), and considerably less awareness in the Northern Territory (36%). Top of page

Figure 7 – Have you heard of the National External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement Program? (n=362)

Text version of figure 7

Percentage of respondents who have heard of the program:
Yes - 88%
No - 12% Top of page

Figure 8 How did you hear about the National External Breast Prostheses Reimbursement Program? (n=362; multiple response)

Top of page

Text version of figure 8

Source of information
Breast care nurse42
Breast prostheses supplier34
BCNA website19
Word of mouth16
Medicare Australia office14
Local breast cancer support group12
BCNA information line11
The Cancer Council10
National Breast Cancer Foundation5
Specialist medical practitioner5
Medicare Australia website3
NBOCC information line2
McGrath Foundation1
NBOCC website1
Department of Health and Ageing1
Medicare Australia information line1
Department of Veterans' Affairs0
Other (please specify)21