News

Number of people delaying their GP consultation declining


Matt Woodley


12/11/2019 3:16:38 PM

But nearly one third of people living in outer-regional, remote or very remote areas have reported visiting an ED because a GP was unavailable.

GP visit
Less than a quarter of people (22.8%) delayed seeing or did not see a GP when needed over the past 12 months, compared to 27.3% in 2017–18.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), less than a quarter of people (22.8%) delayed seeing or did not see a GP when needed over the past 12 months, compared to 27.3% in 2017–18.
 
According to ABS Program Manager of Health and Disability Statistics Justine Boland, while cost was a factor for only 3.4% of these people, this was more pronounced for younger people (aged 15–24) than people aged 65 and over (0.9%).
 
‘Cost was [also] a more predominant factor for people living in areas of greatest socioeconomic disadvantage [24.3%] compared to those living in areas of least disadvantage [11.4%],’ she said.
 
The ABS also reported that more people – 82.8% – saw GPs than any other health professional in 2018–19, with dental professionals the closest (49%).
 
RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon told newsGP the statistics reinforce general practice’s position as the backbone of Australia’s healthcare system and demonstrate the need for better government support.
 
‘Once again, more people saw GPs than any other health service professional, yet primary care in Australia continues to be underfunded,’ he said.
 
‘The fact primary care service delivery is still improving despite the Medicare freeze is commendable, but there is still much to be done for those people who are missing out.
 
‘Fewer people saw their GP in 2018–19 than the previous 12 months, which is a concern. We need to improve access, particularly for people in remote and regional areas, so that no one is missing out on healthcare.’
 
Dr Nespolon pointed to longer waiting times, fewer after-hours appointments and higher out-of-pocket costs as areas of concern for people living outside of the cities, but added that better distribution could help alleviate these issues.
 
‘Nearly one in three Australians living in outer-regional, remote or very remote areas reported visiting an emergency department because a GP was unavailable. This is unacceptable in 2019,’ he said.
 
‘The RACGP is leading the way through the creation of the Rural Generalist Pathway, but serious investment is still required in those regions to ensure all Australians receive the same high-quality healthcare, regardless of their postcode.’

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ABS Australian Bureau of Statistics general practice



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Dr Cho Oo Maung   13/11/2019 6:49:17 AM

1.New model to solve Dr shortage in Rural and Remote is all MPS should attach with GP clinic owned by this MPS and local community.
2. RACGP and Tertiary hospital that cover these MPS should provide there GP registrar/ ED RMO-ED registrar to each MPS.
3. No AGPT or RVTS subcontractors. RACGP or ACRMM directly provide the GP training to GP registrars by using weekly webinar , teaching Check and AFP and Past Papers. If ED RMO / ED registrars run MPS- it should be webi teaching by ED training of that tertiary hospitals.
4. Local MPS must provide free accommodation to these Registrar.
5. Pay basic rate Public Hospital Registrar pay for MPS job + 60% percentage of Medicare for GP-MPS clinic job.
6. Train all Australia Citizen OTD - who passed AMS before out sourcing doctors from Oversea [ that makes Dr inflation in Australia and hard to survive doctor job in future ]...


Prof Max Kamien, AM   13/11/2019 11:09:58 AM

‘Nearly one in three Australians living in outer-regional, remote or very remote areas reported visiting an emergency department because a GP was unavailable". As a former remote area locum, I find this a curious statistic. I worked as a sole or at most, one of a two doctors in town . In the day I work from a clinic. After hours, patients go to the hospital ED and if the SRN on duty needs a doctor I am that doctor. Such is the misuse of statistics. Also the Rural Generalist pathway was first proposed by Queensland Rural GPs in 1990. ACRRM had it up and running by 1998 about 20 years before the RACGP. The RACGP is not leading the way but following a long way behind. It would benefit from less hype and and in its new era by adopting a philosophy of 'Credit where credit is due'.