Productivity Commission Reports Highlights Work of General Practice

2 Feb 2017

The recently released Productivity Commission Report on Government Services 2017 has highlighted the value of general practice to the Australian health care system, with GPs providing high quality and accessible services for patients. 

The number of GP services has increased from around 5.9 services per head of population in 2011/12 to 6.4 services per head of population in 2015/16. This reflects the growing burden of complex and chronic disease as well improved access to GP services. GP workforce numbers have increased from 82.9 Full-Time Service Equivalent (FSE) per 100,000 population in 2011/12 to 96.8 FSE per 100,000 population in 2015/16.

According to the report, around 75% of patients could get an appointment for urgent medical care within 24 hours. The proportion of patients who said they waited longer than they felt acceptable to get an appointment also fell in comparison to previous years.

Nationally in 2015-16, the majority of patients reported that GPs always or often:

  • listened carefully to them (91.6 per cent)
  • showed respect (94.0 per cent)
  • spent enough time with them (90.3 per cent)