General Practice Facts

12 Dec 2019

Who is your GP?

General Practitioners - Australia's family doctors - are specialists in their own right. A GP is trained to treat the whole person and to care for people of all ages, all walks of life, and with all types of medical issues and concerns.

GPs are concerned about preventative health and are the best placed to advise about how to stay healthy and well. GPs have 10-15 years of formal education and training before they can practise independently as a GP. A strong GP-led primary health care system keeps people well and saves lives.


Facts about general practice in Australia


In 2017-2018:[1]   

  • there were 36,938 GPs
    • 25,149 were full service equivalent (FSE)
  • there were 151.6 million NRA services were provided by GPs
  • 46.1% of GPs were female
  • 28,474 were vocationally registered GPs
  • 4512 non-vocationally registered GPs
  • 14.4% of GPs were from 65+ aged groups
  • 41% of GPs trained overseas

Geographical distribution

In 2017-2018:[2]

  • There are fewer GPs as geographical remoteness increases

Table 1. FSE* GPs per 100,000 people in Australia    

Major cities  103.5
Inner regional  104.2
Outer regional  93
Remote  81.4
Very remote  70.5


Table 2. FSE* GPs per 100,000 people across each State/Territory

Major cities 104.799.9113.994.8109NA+77.1NA103.5
Inner regional 107.1103.3109.8101.478.297.9NP^NA104.2
Outer regional, remote and very remote NPNP96.877.98584.2NA54.989.9 


*1 FSE is a 37.5 hour working week

^NP not published

+NA not available 


GP training

In 2018, there were:[3]

  • 5676 GP training positions/trainees (out of a total 21,507 training positions)
  • 5467 GP registrars undertaking AGPT training
  • 3419 (or 60%) female GP registrars
  • 1446 first year registrars (in the AGPT pathway)
  • 5296 GP registrars completing general practice training through the rural pathway

There was minimal growth in the number of new GP registrars. In 2018, there were only 10 additional GP training places compared to 2017.



  • In 2018, there were 6596 accredited general practices[2]
  • In 2014-15, there was an estimated 7185 GP establishments (note there is no authoritative source for the number of GP clinics in Australia)[4]


Usual GP

  • 76% of people have a usual/preferred GP[5]
  • 73% of people could always see their preferred GP when needed[5]
  • 87% of people over 45 have a usual GP[5]
  • 81% of people over 45 have a usual place of care[6]


[1] General Practice Statistics – 2001-01 to 2017-18 . Downloaded on 5/12/2019

[2] Productivity Commission Report on Government Services 2019.

[3] Health Workforce Dataset: Medical Education and Training Dataset. Canberra. DoH, 2019. Accessed on 5/12/2019

[4] Mapping primary care in Australia 2018. The Grattan Institute

[5] Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings, 2018-19. Australian Bureau of Statistics.

[6] Coordination of health care: experiences with GP care among patients aged 45 and over 2016. Released July 2018.