General Practice Facts

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 places to advise how to stay healthy and well. GPs have 10-15 years of formal education and training before they can practice 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 2020 - 2021: [1]   

  • there were 38,388 GPs
    • 30,736 were Full-Time Equivalent (GPFTE)*
  • there were 177.3 MBS services provided by GPs
  • 48.1% of GPs were female
  • 30,379 were vocationally registered GPs
  • 2954 non-vocationally registered GPs
  • 16% of GPs were from 65+ aged groups
  • 41.4% of GPs trained overseas

Geographical distribution

In 2020: [2]

  • There were fewer GPs as geographical remoteness increased


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

Major cities 117.3
Inner regional 114.3
Outer regional 99.2
Remote 78.8
Very remote 66.4


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


Major cities 120.0 110.9 127.9 112.8 119.3 NA+ 93.3 NA 117.3
Inner regional 117.4 107.9 121.8 107.1 104.77 112.4 290.3 NA 114.3
Outer regional, remote and very remote 86.8 91.6 106.6 80.8 96.0 94.3 NA 88.8 94.3



* General Practitioner Full-time Equivalent (GP FTE) is a workforce specific method to estimate the workload of GPs now being used by the Department of Health. It is different to the FSE (Full-Service Equivalent) measure used in statistics published on the MBS online site. The method calculates a GP's workload based on MBS services claimed as well as patient and doctor factors that affect the duration of a consultation.1 FTE represents a 40-hour week for 46 weeks of the year.

For more information, see:

+NA: there are no major cities in Tas, no outer regional or remote areas in the ACT and no inner regional areas or major cities in the NT.


GP training

In 2019, there were:[3]

  • 5694 GP training positions/trainees (out of a total 21,568 training positions)
  • 5468 GP registrars undertaking AGPT training
  • 3324 (or 61%) female GP registrars
  • 1389 first year registrars (in the AGPT pathway)
  • 2648 GP registrars completing general practice training through the rural pathway

There was minimal growth in the number of new GP registrars. In 2019, there were only 18 additional GP training places compared to 2018.


  • In 2018, there were 6500 accredited general practices [2]
  • There is no authoritative source for the number of GP clinics in Australia, but estimates generally put the number at around 7,000. [4]

 Usual GP

  • 79% of people have a usual/preferred GP [5]
  • 75% 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 Workforce (2015-16 to 2020-21 Financial Years). Downloaded on 15 June 2022.

[2] Productivity Commission Report on Government Services 2022

[3] Health Workforce Dataset: Medical Education and Training Dataset. Canberra. DoH, 2021. Accessed on 16/06/2022

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

[5] Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings 2020-21. Australian Bureau of Statistics.

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