fbpx
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

New data shows increase in GP waiting times for urgent care

New analysis of patient experiences released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that 39.1% of people in need of urgent medical care waited for 24 hours or more to see a GP.

The new data also showed that people 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.

Robert Long, ABS Director, Health Statistics, said: “In 2021-22, 39.1% of people who saw a GP for urgent medical care reported waiting for 24 hours or more – an increase from 33.9% in 2020-21.”

The Patient Experience Survey 2021-22 showed people living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas (49.5%) 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%).

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% compared to 16.6% in 2020-21) or a medical specialist (26.7% compared to 21.7% in 2020-21).

“The survey found that 32.8% of people could not see their preferred GP on at least one occasion, compared to 25.5% in 2020-21,” Mr Long said.

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

The proportion of people who needed to see a health professional for their mental health increased to 18.5% in 2021-22, from 17.3% in 2020-21. Of these people, 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 have continued to take advantage of expanded telehealth services in 2021-22, particularly those offered by GPs. Almost one third (30.8%) of people had a telehealth consultation in the last 12 months, an increase from 28.8% in 2020-21. Over a quarter (25.8%) of all people had a telehealth consultation with a GP.

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

Latest Articles