Australians are visiting their GP more and more

Doug Hendrie

14/06/2018 1:23:39 PM

Australians now see their GP an average of 6.1 times a year, up from 5.4 times in 2010–11, according to new research.

Almost nine out of 10 Australian GP visits were bulk billed in 2016–17.
Almost nine out of 10 Australian GP visits were bulk billed in 2016–17.

New 2016–17 figures from the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) show that GP attendances have been increasing steadily over the last six years.
The data, ‘MyHealthyCommunities: MBS GP and specialist attendances and expenditure in 2016–17’, also show wide variance across the nation.
Across primary health network (PHN) areas, people living in the Northern Territory saw a GP 4.4 times a year on average, while people in South Western Sydney saw their GPs an average of 7.7 times a year.
Australia-wide, 86% of GP visits were bulk billed in 2016–17. Those rates are as low as 62% in the Australian Capital Territory PHN area, and as high as 96% in the Western Sydney PHN.
After-hours visits were at 0.49 per person nationally, up from 0.31 per person in 2010–11.
Australians saw a specialist an average of 0.95 times a year in 2016–17, increasing from 0.84 in the previous period. People in Northern Sydney saw a specialist four times more than people in the Northern Territory – 1.27 visits per person compared to 0.32 visits.
The amount spent by Medicare on specialist attendances ranged from $25 per person in the Northern Territory PHN to $119 per person in the Northern Sydney PHN.

aihw bulk-billed data medicare-benefits-schedule

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