Annual GP report highlights increase in health costs

The annual health check-up on general practice, titled General Practice: Health of the Nation has been revealed.

Launched by The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the report reveals the many areas in which the nation’s primary healthcare system continues to thrive.

The report was presented by RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon, to Australia’s key healthcare decision-makers, including Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, Shadow Health Minister Chris Bowen and Greens leader Richard Di Natale.

“As a GP I know that keeping a person healthy isn’t always easy, and keeping a nation healthy is an incredibly complex task,” said Dr Nesplon.

“If Australian general practice was one of my patients, I would have many positive things to say, but also some suggestions on how to change course to improve overall health outcomes.”

Key highlights of the report reveal that:

  • Patients talk to their GP about mental health more than any other issue.
  • GPs are avoiding or delaying seeking their own healthcare.
  • Out-of-pocket costs are increasing at double the consumer price index.
  • 14 per cent of those delaying a GP visits do so because of cost concerns.
  • There is a decline in the proportion of services bulk billed outside of major cities.
  • More and more medical graduates are choosing other medical specialities over general practice, in part because a large amount of GP work is unfunded.
  • The costs of providing care are increasing year on year and not being matched through appropriate health funding.

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