News

We're seeing our GPs more often than a decade ago

AUSTRALIAN GPs are cramming more into patient consultations than they were a decade ago, but the average length of the consultation has stayed the same.

Research led by the University of Sydney, contained in two reports to be published on Tuesday, also shows people are seeing their GPs more.

In 2011-12 more than 18.7 million Australians, or 83% of the population, saw a GP at least once. Medicare paid for 122.5 million visits, or 5.4 visits per person.

The number of procedures done at GP visits increased when Medicare started to pay for some procedures done by practice nurses, under the supervision of the GP.

In 2011-12 nurses did about one third of all the procedures recorded in the Bettering the Evaluation and Care of Health program, which provided the data for the reports.The lead author, associate professor Helena Britt from Sydney Medical School, said Australian GPs were getting busier and busier.

"We are seeing our GPs more often than we were a decade ago, and the GPs are also fitting more into their consultations. For example patients are presenting with more issues, GPs are managing more problems, and doing more tests and procedures - yet the time spent in the average consultation has stayed steady at about 15 minutes," said Prof Britt, who also is the director of the BEACH program.

The reports - General Practice Activity In Australia 2011-12 and A Decade Of Australian General Practice 2002-03 to 2011-12 - provide data on the activities of Australian GPs and the care of their patients.

In contrast to the increase in the number of procedures following the involvement of nurses in consultations, since the nurses' involvement GPs give less advice, education and counselling about exercise, nutrition and weight.

"That trend is continuing so we hope that the important role of exercise and dietary advice is being picked up by the practice nurses at, for example, independent meetings with patients as part of their chronic disease management, or as part of diabetes education," Prof Britt said.

"The trouble is we don't have information about these nurses' work outside GP-patient encounters. Practice nurses' independent activities represent a growing gap in our understanding of the content of general practice care of the population."

This year the researchers also investigated which problems are referred to certain specialist groups, an area in which there is virtually no information available worldwide.

They found that osteoarthritis accounted for one in five new GP referrals to orthopaedic surgeons, ischaemic heart disease accounted for one out of five referrals to cardiologists and diabetes for one out of six referrals to ophthalmologists.

Topics:  gp health medicare



Heavy fine for "greedy" mud crab haul

Fisheries seizes an illegal catch of mud crabs.

Fisherman fined $3,100 and ordered to forfeit gear

The true cause of the Oscars bungle

Faye Dunaway, left, and Warren Beatty present the award for best picture at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Oscars ended with a moment that left everyone speechless.

Talented young apprentice worth watching

SMILE OF SUCCESS: Apprentice jockey Sally Sweeney celebrates winning on board Dazzling Halo in the Kevin Keidge Memorial race at Bundamba Racetrack on Thursday.

Ipswich success could be start of exciting career

Local Partners

Lisa Curry can't marry her fiance

LISA Curry says she can’t get married to her Elvis impersonator fiance just yet.

The true cause of the Oscars bungle

Faye Dunaway, left, and Warren Beatty present the award for best picture at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Oscars ended with a moment that left everyone speechless.

HUGE OSCARS FAIL: Wrong film handed Best Picture award

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land incorrectly named Best Picture.

Blue Heelers' Ditch Davey joins 800 Words cast

Ditch Davey joins the cast of 800 Words as Terry, the younger brother of George, played by Erik Thomson.

George Turner's brother, Terry, arrives to Weld with a 'few demons'

Oscars winners 2017: Full list of Academy Award winners

Viola Davis accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for Fences at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

WHO won Oscars this year? Here’s a full list of every winner.

Why can’t Nicole Kidman clap properly?

Nicole Kidman's style of clapping has puzzled Oscars viewers.

FOR some reason, it seems Nicole doesn’t really know how to clap.

Muslim actor makes Oscars history

Mahershala Ali accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for Moonlight at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

MOONLIGHT star Mahershala Ali makes Academy Award history.

Casino boss loses $4m on waterfront Sunshine Coast home

The owner of this stunning Noosa home accepted much less than he had initially wanted for the home.

When illness struck owner forced to try and cash out of property

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!