New data showing how GPs work and similarities and differences
between problems managed by metropolitan and rural GPs and by male
and female GPs, will be among the findings presented by the
Director of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Dr
Richard Madden, at the AMA 1999 National Conference in Canberra on
Saturday 29 May.
Dr Madden will present data showing that in 1998 the three most
common reasons for people going to their GPs-for prescriptions,
coughs, and cardiac check-ups-were the same in metropolitan areas,
large rural centres, and other rural areas, and did not vary with
the size of the practice. The length of consultation varied
depending on area-long or prolonged consultations were more common
for metropolitan GPs (9% of consultations) than for GPs in large
rural centres (7%) and other rural areas (4.5%).
In 1998 female patients comprised 71% of female GPs' workloads,
compared with 53% of male GPs' workloads and practice patterns were
different. There were also differences per 100 patient encounters
between the number of medications prescribed (96 by male GPs, 86 by
female GPs) and the number of pathology referrals (23 by male GPs
and 34 by female GPs).
One third of GPs were female in 1997, with the female proportion
increasing by almost 1% each year during the last decade. In 1998
60% of GP trainees were female.
Other data show that just over half (52%) of female GPs work
less than 35 hours per week, compared with 13% of male GPs. Over a
lifetime of employment, female GPs average 66% of the hours worked
by male GPs.
29 May 1999
Further information: Mr John Harding, Head,
AIHW Health and Welfare Labourforce Unit, ph. 02 6244 1153 or 04
0701 2520 (mobile).For media copies of the report: Mrs Lena Searle,
AIHW, ph. 02 6244 1032.
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