More people waiting longer to see GPs for urgent medical care
New analysis of patient experiences released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows more people are waiting longer to see a General Practitioner (GP) for urgent medical care.
- 39.1 per cent of people who saw a GP for urgent medical care waited for 24 hours or more
- Those living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas were more likely to wait for 24 hours or more to see a GP for urgent medical care
- 30.8 per cent 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 2021-22, 39.1 per cent of people who saw a GP for urgent medical care reported waiting for 24 hours or more, an increase from 33.9 per cent in 2020-21.”
The Patient Experience Survey 2021-22 showed people living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas (49.5 per cent) were more likely to wait for 24 hours or more to see a GP for urgent medical care than those living in major cities (35.5 per cent).
There was also an increase in the proportion of people who waited longer than they felt was acceptable to get an appointment with a GP (23.4 per cent compared to 16.6 per cent in 2020-21) or a medical specialist (26.7 per cent compared to 21.7 per cent in 2020-21).
“The survey found that 32.8 per cent of people could not see their preferred GP on at least one occasion, compared to 25.5 per cent in 2020-21,” Mr Long said.
More than four in five (82.7 per cent) people said GPs always showed respect.
The proportion of people who needed to see a health professional for their mental health increased to 18.5 per cent in 2021-22, from 17.3 per cent in 2020-21. Of these people, 38.9 per cent delayed or did not see a mental health professional at least once when needed, an increase from 34.3 per cent in 2020-21.
People have continued to take advantage of expanded telehealth services in 2021-22, particularly those offered by GPs. Almost one third (30.8 per cent) of people had a telehealth consultation in the last 12 months, an increase from 28.8 per cent in 2020-21. Over a quarter (25.8 per cent) of all people had a telehealth consultation with a GP.
More than four in five (81.6 per cent) people said telehealth practitioners always listened carefully.
Further information can be found in Patient Experiences, 2021-22, with datasets freely available for download from the ABS website.
Mental health professionals include GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals (including mental health nurses, social workers, counsellors and occupational therapists).
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