What’s general practice like in Australia?

14th August 2015 by NASGP

What’s general practice like in Australia?

After 18 months of working in Australia I can honestly say it’s been a refreshing change. During my day I see patients, and that’s it really. If I need more time, then I book longer appointments. If I want breaks, I build them into my day. If I want to finish early on a particular day, that’s easy, I tell the receptionist to change my hours. If I have reports to do, I book out time during the day, and charge for my time accordingly. If a patient wants to see me, then they have to book with me. I don’t do telephone calls and I don’t do home visits. Blood results and letters are manageable between my patients. Then at the end of the day when my last patient leaves, I leave too. I don’t work late, there’s never a reason too. I am well paid, I enjoy my work and I am not stressed. Most scans and tests can be done within a week, so that keeps the patients happy.

There is one major difference though, there is often out of pocket costs for the patient. Some of the tests and treatments are free at the point of access, but many have a price. The difference is that the Australian people are used to it and accept that if they want good quality healthcare at their convenience, that they will need to pay a price for it.

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"I was introduced to the local locum chambers several months ago when I made a career move from partnership. I now combine salaried and locum roles. The chambers provides helpful support, leadership, advice and governance and reduces professional isolation. This combination of support reassures me and helps me provide safe and consistent care to patients within the community . There is a useful, innovative online portal - LocumDeck - which helps me access local work and which has efficient systems for reconciliation of finance including pensions. I would highly recommend joining a locum chambers for any GPs starting out in the locum world ."

Dr Adrian Richardson

Dr Adrian Richardson

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