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Australian GPs delivering quality in the face of high demand


Paul Hayes


15/11/2017 11:00:55 AM

General practice remains the most commonly accessed healthcare service in Australia, with new statistics showing more than eight out of 10 people visited a GP in the last 12 months.

More than 80% of patients said GPs always showed them respect.
More than 80% of patients said GPs always showed them respect.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS’s) Patient experiences in Australia has revealed 83% of people accessed general practice in 2016–17, followed by dental services (48%) and medical specialists (36%).
 
The report also revealed improvement in general practice waiting times, with the proportion of people waiting longer than they felt acceptable for a GP appointment dropping from 23% in 2013–14 to 18% in 2016–17. In addition, 63% of patients who visited a GP for urgent medical care were seen within four hours of making an appointment.
 
Financial concerns do not appear to be a significant barrier to people accessing general practice services. According to the report, only one in 25 people (4%) delayed seeing or did not see a GP at least once due to cost, while 7% of those who received a prescription for medication delayed or decided against filling a prescription due to cost.
 
Patients also expressed significant levels of satisfaction with the services provided by GPs during consultations. Three-quarters of people (75%) said the GP always listened to them carefully, 81% reported they always showed respect, and 76% reported GPs always spent enough time with them.
 
One in 12 people (8%) reported accessing an after-hours GP in the last 12 months, with 43% of those visiting a regular general practice clinic, followed by home visits (27%) and late-night clinics (18%).



abs Australian-Bureau-of-Statistics Patient-experiences-in-Australia





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