New numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that over the 2018-19 period 22.8% of people delayed or didn't visit their GP when they needed to, compared to 27.3% for the period prior.
It also reported that 82.8% of people saw GPs during that time with the next closest healthcare professional being dentists with 49% of people visiting.
Yet, primary care in Australia is still underfunded, and this is particularly true for those in remote and regional areas. Longer waits, higher costs and lacking after hours availabilities are contributing to this issue where a third of Australian's living in those areas visited the emergency department rather than a GP simply because they weren't available.
Whilst the RACGP has launched the Rural Generalist Pathway that offers Generalist Fellowships, there still needs to be more funding to support more programs like this.
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Source: ABS // Image: CC-BY-00