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Aust Fam Physician. 2011 Jan-Feb;40(1-2):12-5.

General practice - workforce gaps now and in 2020.

Author information

  • 1Medicine Research Centre, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. christopher.harrison@sydney.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The general practice workforce required for Australia in the future will depend on many factors, including geographic areas and patient utilisation of general practice services.

OBJECTIVE:

This article examines the current and future general practice workforce requirements by way of an analysis of geographic areas accounting for differing patient utilisation.

DISCUSSION:

The results showed that, compared with major cities, inner regional areas had 24.4% higher expected patient general practice utilisation per general practitioner, outer regional 33.2%, and remote/very remote 21.4%. Balanced distribution would mean 1129 fewer GPs in major cities: 639 more in inner regional, 423 more in outer regional and 66 more in remote/very remote. With the population projected to increase 18.6-26.1% by 2020, expected general practice utilisation will increase by 27.0-33.1%. Initiatives addressing general practice workforce shortages should account for increasing general practice utilisation due to the aging population, or risk exacerbating the unequal distribution of general practice services.

PMID:
21301686
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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