Overwhelming response to Health of the Nation

Morgan Liotta

25/05/2022 2:09:00 PM

A growing undercurrent of stress and frustration appears to have been the driving force behind record participation in this year’s survey.

Female GP looking stressed
Initial findings from the survey identify that GPs are feeling the pressure more than ever and want their voices heard.

Last month, RACGP members were given the chance to have their say on the state of their profession and their practice experiences from the last year in the 2022 General Practice: Health of the Nation survey.
An overwhelming response to the survey saw 3470 members providing feedback – the highest ever and almost double the previous record from 2020 of around 1780 responses.
In 2021, the survey drew around 1300 respondents.
Dr Michael Wright, Chair of RACGP Expert Committee – Funding and Health System Reform told newsGP the high response rate demonstrates that GPs want their voice heard more than ever.
‘This is a great result and shows that GPs are keen to share their experiences through Health of the Nation,’ he said.
‘It is also good news for the RACGP because this larger sample provides clearer evidence of the challenges GPs are facing, and clear direction for the college in its advocacy.’
The success of the survey strengthens members’ voices in speaking out amid a challenging two years, and their intention to stand by the college in building on general practice advocacy efforts.
Initial analysis of the survey data indicate that GPs are feeling the pressure.
In addition to feeling burnt out, GPs are concerned about the viability of their practice and profession, and are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with constantly changing regulatory requirements associated with being a GP, on top of providing ongoing care for their community.
Dr Wright, who also acts as an advisor on the survey and its final report, is not surprised by these findings.
‘The last couple of years have been tough for all Australians, but particularly difficult for general practices,’ he said. 
‘We’ve worked incredibly hard to keep our patients and staff safe since COVID arrived on our shores and we have led the vaccine rollout over the last year. 
‘Many of our practices have suffered financially and our practice staff are exhausted.’
The RACGP is currently analysing the full findings of the survey which will inform the 2022 General Practice: Health of the Nation report, released later this year, with a focus on business sustainability.
‘The focus on business sustainability in [this year’s] Health of the Nation is timely and appropriate,’ Dr Wright said.
‘GPs are wanting to be heard through participating.
‘We can’t wait to see the final results and share them [with our members].’  
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