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Aust Health Rev. 2003;26(2):26-33.

Future demand for general practice services: effects of population change and trends in service use.

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Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University.


This study investigated three key determinants of demand for general practice services: population growth, population ageing and trends in service use. Projection of future service use on the basis of the two demographic factors yielded a projected growth in number of general practice services of 5.9% by 2006, with a further 6.5% growth by 2011. When trends in service use were taken into account as well as demographics, a lower rate of growth in services was projected, but an increasing proportion of long consultations and an increasing proportion of services for older adult patients. It is concluded that population ageing and population growth will continue to be major drivers of demand for general practice services in the next decade. Patterns of service use will also be a key contributor, with increased use of long consultations suggesting a greater requirement for the general practice workforce than has previously been proposed.

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