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Health of the nation: The RACGP takes Australia’s pulse


Morgan Liotta 19/09/2018 8:22:31 AM

The RACGP launched its second annual Health of the Nation report in Canberra this week.

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Health of the Nation presents unique data and interpretations, painting a clear picture of the contemporary Australian general practice.

‘As the only comprehensive sector-led annual study of Australian general practice, Health of the Nation tracks the pulse of general practice, providing a diagnosis for the future of the profession, Australian GPs and their patients,’ RACGP President-elect Dr Harry Nespolon said.
 
The General Practice: Health of the Nation 2018 report brings together general practice data and evidence from robust sources to compare features of general practice in Australia and paint an overall picture of the sector. It is designed to provide a snapshot of contemporary Australian general practice, as told by GPs via specifically commissioned research.
 
The second annual report provides a year-on-year comparison, strengthening data collected in the General Practice: Health of the Nation 2017 report.
 
‘GPs are the cornerstone of healthcare delivery within Australia. Every year, general practice touches the lives of every person, family and community in Australia, with the majority of us seeing our GP several times a year,’ Dr Nespolon said.
 
A number of key findings from 2018 reaffirm many of the results found in last year’s report.
 
Mental health remains the most common reason patients visit their GP, with GPs also identifying this as the health issue causing them most concern for the future, followed by obesity.
 
Data from the 2017 report is further cemented in this year’s report with identical findings of patient satisfaction. Patients see GPs more than any other health professional, and more than four out of five patients (84%) visit their GP multiple times a year. Three in every four patients report that their GP always listens carefully, shows respect and spends enough time with them.
 
GPs are largely happy in the profession, with more than 90% saying they are ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the variety in their practice, including freedom to choose their own method of working and the amount of responsibility they are given.
 
The report also found that Australia’s general practice workforce is closely balanced in terms of gender, with females making up 45% of the country’s practising GPs.
 
Dr Nespolon encourages RACGP members to access the report and use it as a valuable resource in their profession.
 
‘I invite you to read the report in full to learn more about the current trends and issues that will impact the future of Australian healthcare,’ he said.
 
‘I hope that parliamentarians from all sides take note of the health of general practice today and remember that, like our patients, preventive care is always the best option for general practice.’

The General Practice: Health of the Nation 2018 report is available on the RACGP website.


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