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21 Jul 2018

RECOGNISING AUSTRALIA’S GPs

AMA FAMILY DOCTOR WEEK, 22- 28 July 2018

Your Family Doctor: Here for you


AMA Family Doctor Week, held from 22 to 28 July, is an opportunity to recognise the work and dedication of Australia’s 36,000 GPs, who tackle key health issues day in, day out.

“Your family doctor is here for you, and Family Doctor Week is a great opportunity to remind Australians that a visit to their GP is the best investment they can make in their health care,” AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, a GP from Melbourne, said today.

“Australia’s health system is one of the best in the world, and it all begins with the GP-led primary care system.

“Eight out of 10 Australians see their family doctor once a year, and more than nine in 10 always go to the same general practice, with 65 per cent of people surveyed reporting that they had been going to their family doctor for five years or more.

“People who have a regular family doctor tend to have better health outcomes, with new research from the United Kingdom suggesting that seeing the same doctor each time you need medical care might even reduce your risk of death.

“Patients who need urgent medical care can usually obtain an appointment on the day they call, with nearly two-thirds reporting that they were seen by a family doctor within four hours of making an appointment.

“GPs are specialists in their field, with a minimum of 10 to 15 years training, and they manage 90 per cent of the problems they encounter.

“They are the leaders in preventive health care, early diagnosis and treatment, and comprehensive care.

“Australians rely on their trusted relationship with their family doctor. It’s a partnership with someone who knows their medical history, who they can talk to about their health concerns, who can advise them on how to reduce their health risks, who can assist them in managing their health, who can help them to feel well, and who can listen to them and guide them when it all starts to get too much.

“This continuity of care underpins quality health care, and is fundamental to better health outcomes.”

As part of Family Doctor Week, the AMA has produced a series of videos showcasing how your family doctor is there for you. You can view them on the Family Doctor Week Website.

Dr Bartone will address the National Press Club, Canberra, on 25 July.

Follow all the action on Twitter: #amafdw18 and the Family Doctor Week Website with videos

Background

In 2016-17:

  • Australia had 35,942 GPs.
  • GPs provided 145.6 million non-referred attendance (NRA) services, or 6,089 services for each full service equivalent (FSE) GP.
  • 45.4 per cent of GPs were female.
  • 14 per cent of GPs were aged 65 years and older.
  • 40.6 per cent of GPs were trained overseas.

In 2015, there were:

  • 4,936 GP training positions/trainees (out of a total of 20,069 training positions).
  • 1,529 First Year GP registrars.
  • 3,812 Female GP Registrars.
  • 2,459 GP Registrars completing general practice training through the rural pathway.
  • 55 per cent increase in training numbers between 2011-2015.

Usual GP:

  • 78 per cent of patients have a preferred usual GP.
  • 98 per cent of people aged 45 and over have a usual GP.
  • 93 per cent of Australians always go to the same general practice.

Sources:

Department of Health - GP Workforce Statistics 2001-02 to 2016-17; Medical Training Review Panel: 19th Report  

Productivity Commission - Report on Government Services 2017 

General practice activity in Australia 2015-16.  H.Britt et al. University of Sydney, 2016

Practice Incentive Program Performance Audit Report No 5. 2010-11

The Menzies-Nous Australian Health Survey 2012

Australian Bureau of Statistics - Patient Experiences in Australia Survey 2016-17

ABS/Australian Institute of Health and Welfare - Survey of Health Care, Australia, 2016


21 July 2018

CONTACT:           John Flannery                              02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
                             Maria Hawthorne                         02 6270 5478 / 0427 209 753

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Published: 21 Jul 2018