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21 Jul 2019

AMA FAMILY DOCTOR WEEK, 21-27 July 2019

Your Family Doctor and You: Partnering for Health

AMA Family Doctor Week 2019, held from 21 to 27 July, celebrates and recognises the role of Australia’s 37,000 GPs as the primary medical and healthcare providers for all Australians.

AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, a Melbourne GP, said today that general practice is the cornerstone of the health system and GPs are the human face of quality health care and advice in local communities all around Australia.

“The AMA will this week put the national spotlight on the hard work and dedication of all Australian GPs, and highlight the need for governments to continue to support and nurture primary care and general practice.

“General practice is the best value segment of the health system, the underpinning central hub that coordinates and guides patients through complex health systems. GPs keep people well throughout life, and help keep them away from more expensive hospital care,” Dr Bartone said.

“The relationship between family doctors and their patients at the local community level is a vital partnership that ensures people have the best possible health pathway as they move from childhood to adulthood and on to their senior years.

“GPs partner with patients every day to help improve their health and wellbeing.

“Four out of five Australians have seen a GP at least once in the past 12 months, and surveys consistently show that GPs are among the most trusted health professionals.

“This trust is a vital component of the partnership between patients and doctors for the delivery of quality medical care.

“General practice is the cost-effective cornerstone of our health system, managing 90 per cent of the problems that patients present with.

“GPs work with other specialists and health professionals, within and outside the practice as part of a multidisciplinary healthcare team, to ensure continuity, comprehensiveness, and coordination of patient care.

“General practice is the most efficient and effective part of Australia’s healthcare system. It must be supported so our GPs can continue to provide access to quality primary health care in the cities, suburbs, regional centres, country towns, and remote communities across the nation,” Dr Bartone said.

Background

In 2017-18:

  • Australia had 36,938 GPs.
  • GPs provided 151.1 million non-referred attendance (NRA) services.

In 2016-17:

  • 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 2017, there were:

  • 5,488 GP training positions/trainees (out of a total of 21,307 training positions).
  • 1,524 First Year GP registrars.
  • 3,440 Female GP Registrars.
  • 2,699 GP Registrars completing general practice training through the rural pathway.

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:

Health Workforce Data; Medical education and training dataset; (accessed 30/6/19).

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 2019

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

 

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Published: 21 Jul 2019