GPs in Australia ‘highly satisfied’ with role

A recent report published by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners report makes for interesting reading. We have highlighted the areas which we hope you find useful….

How happy are GPs working in Australia?
GPs in Australia are, overall, very satisfied or satisfied with their positions. When asked to rate the satisfaction with various elements of their job, at least 70% of GPs are either satisfied or very satisfied with all areas and more than 90% of GPs stated that they are satisfied or very satisfied with 7 out of 10 elements measured.

There are over 34,000 GPs working in general practice in Australia of which 78% work in group practice, 10% in corporate practice and 4% solo GPs.

Most GPs report that an average consultation lasts between 15 and 20 minutes with RACGP members surveyed reporting that they spend over 70% of their working hours providing direct patient care.
Interestingly, in 2015–16, for the first time since such records began, GPs who gained their medical degree from an overseas university was higher than those who completed their qualifications from Australia and New Zealand.

How often are patients visiting their GP and what conditions are being treated?
The report recognised that more than 85% of Australia’s 24million patients visit the GP at least once each year with 83% visiting multiple times including 11% who see their GP more than 12 times per year.

In line with the majority of the Western world, Australia’s ageing population and rates of chronic disease are increasing. GPs now more than ever, are key to the provision of high-quality primary care across the nation.
The report has highlighted that psychological issues (eg depression, mood disorders, anxiety) are the most common health issues they manage. Respiratory (e.g cough, asthma, sinusitis) and musculoskeletal (back/neck pain, arthritis) conditions follow closely in frequency.

How are patients being billed?
General practice in Australia operates on a fee-for-service basis. Medicare provides rebates to patients when they access GP services. Medicare statistics indicate that 85.7% of general practice services are bulk billed and for those private billing, the out-of-pocket cost for patients to visit a GP is almost $36.

These costs vary across Australia, with figures suggesting that practices in Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory (Canberra) private billing patients more regularly.

Patients in Australia are able to visit GPs in different practices and patient enrolment is not a feature of general practice in Australia. However over 81% of female patients and 73% of male patients have a regular named GP.

Click here if you want to read the report in full.

If you wish to discuss how you can enjoy life as a GP in Australia please do get in touch with Emma or Laura on 0131 336 0094 or