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More people waiting longer to see GPs for urgent medical care: Australia

A new analysis of patient experiences released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that more and more people are waiting longer to see a GP (GP) for urgent medical care.

Key statistics

  • 39.1% of people who visited a GP for urgent medical care waited 24 hours or more
  • People living in remote, remote or very remote areas were more likely to wait 24 hours or more to see a GP for urgent medical care
  • 30.8% of people had at least one telehealth consultation for their own health in the last 12 months

Robert Long, ABS Director, Health Statistics, said: “In 2021-2022, 39.1% of people who saw a GP for urgent medical care said they waited 24 hours or more, an increase from 33 .9% in 2020-21.”

The 2021-22 Patient Experience Survey showed that people living in peripheral, remote or very remote areas (49.5%) were more likely to wait 24 hours or more to see a GP for urgent medical care than those living in large cities (35.5%). percent).

There was also an increase in the proportion of people who waited longer than they considered acceptable to get an appointment with a GP (23.4% compared to 16.6% in 2020-2021) or a medical specialist (26.7% compared to 21.7 percent in 2020-21).

“The survey found that 32.8% of people were unable to see their preferred GP at least once, compared to 25.5% in 2020-21,” Mr Long said.

More than four in five people (82.7%) said GPs always showed respect.

The proportion of people who needed to see a health professional for their mental health increased to 18.5% in 2021-2022, from 17.3% in 2020-2021. Of these individuals, 38.9% delayed or did not see a mental health professional at least once when needed, an increase from 34.3% in 2020-21.

People continued to take advantage of expanded telehealth services in 2021-2022, especially those offered by general practitioners. Almost a third (30.8%) of people had a telehealth consultation in the last 12 months, an increase from 28.8% in 2020-2021. More than a quarter (25.8%) of all people have had a telehealth consultation with a general practitioner.

More than four in five (81.6%) said telehealth practitioners always listen carefully.

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