The Meeting Place

Fewer people delaying seeing GPs

Fewer Australians are likely to delay or not see their doctor at all than they were six years ago, according to a new report released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Justine Boland from the ABS said in 2018-19 less than a quarter of people (22.8 per cent) delayed seeing or did not see a GP when needed compared to 27.3 per cent in 2017-18, the lowest rate in six years.

“When looking into the reasons for this, cost was a factor for only 3.4 per cent of these people," Ms Boland said. "However younger people (15 to 24) were more likely to delay or not see a GP because of cost (3.7 per cent) compared to people aged 65 years and over (0.9 per cent).”

The 2018-19 Patient Experience Survey also showed a slight decrease in the number of people delaying or not seeing a dental professional when needed compared to last year (28.2 per cent and 30.4 per cent respectively), with cost the reason for 17.6 per cent of these people.

"Cost was a more predominant factor for people living in areas of greatest socio-economic disadvantage (24.3 per cent) compared to those living in areas of least disadvantage (11.4 per cent).”

In other survey results, 13.8 per cent of people visited a hospital emergency department for their treatment in 2018-19 with 20.5 per cent reporting they went to hospital because a GP was not available.

"People living in outer regional, remote or very remote areas (29.5 per cent) were more likely to report visiting an emergency department because a GP was unavailable than those living in major cities (17.8 per cent)."

The survey also showed that more than half (56.9 per cent) of people surveyed had some form of private health insurance, the same as last year.

People aged 35 years and over were more likely to have private health insurance cover (59.6 per cent) than those aged 15 to 34 years (51.6 per cent) similar to last year’s rates of 59.9 per cent and 51.2 per cent respectively.


I hate going to see a Doctor these days, they are all Medical Centres and you never see the same Doctor twice. The last visit,  the Doctor  who saw me, has since left so I was referred to a Doctor who had a cancellation. This Doctor I later found out is a Paediatrician. What the hell is going on? If I wanted to see a Paediatrician, I would have gone to the Children's Hospital. 

I agree with you Hola to see a GP these days in these multi clinics is like going to a Supermarket.

If you live in the rural area you have to pay another $37.50 to see a GP and then medications on top.

Of course they want a whole lot of tests done which drain you dry but then the docs must get their hols from their referals.

For more than 16 years I have been seeing the same Dr, paying for it. I have a rather unique unusual medical condition and my Dr knows the history, so doesn't have to waste time by asking a multitude of questions and read my long detailed file. But got a shock when I last needed to see her. Now that I am solely on Aged Pension, I asked if my visits could be bulk billed. No - if I want to continue seeing my Dr, I have to pay for it. If I want visit bulk billed, I can only see what ever Dr is available, usually a visiting Dr. Last time, all I needed was a new script for something I need to get compounded, as prescribed by my specialist. But the 'new' dr I saw spent nearly 10 minutes reading my file, firing questions (most irrelevant), and questioning why I needed such a strong script. I've lived with this cruel condition for nearly 20 years, and in the end I asked him the question - "do you really know what xx is?" He responded by saying 'it's a minor irritating skin condition'. I was so disgusted I got up and walked out. He'd soon change his mind if HE had this condition (which is exclusively a female condition). I wrote a letter of complaint to the practice, but they iterated if I wanted to continue seeing my Dr, I would have to pay for it. So it is either stay at that practice and see different Dr's all the time simply to bulk bill, or find another practice, transfer my records, and hope to find a Dr that will at least stay there, and understand my condition.

You meet doctor you prefered at you dead bed.signing your dead certificate.BULKBILLED that is

Arund here you have to wait atleast 2 to 3 days if it is urgent so you just go to ER instead as it so much faster.

I went to the Dr with Chest pain thought I had a broken rib. This first time Doctor for me sent me for an xray/. I paid $27.00 Extra  I had it and asked was my rib broken . Paid nothing for the xray.. Can't tell you said the operator. Back to the doctor next day another medicare bulk bill this time. Doctor said yes  its broken   Can't do anything but just be careful for the next 5-6 weeks.

RIPPING off the Government thats what I call it .  No wonder people go to the emergency of the hospital.


 This was not the first doctor I have found to be less than honest.

Took my Father to the doctor who had called him re his results for a recent blood test.

Dad panicked he was 96.

Doctor told dad in my presence that his chorestoral was up and he would have to stop eating so many lollies

THATS ALL    And gave a medi care bulk bill.  RIP OFF

I was totally disgusted and even more when a few weeks later I tried to get a companion card for me to take Dad to the fooball We both had paid seats but different categories and the oval said they could help me to get a reserved seats If we had a companion card... The doctor refused to read my report on the application form... He askd Dad "You're not disabled are you John"

Of course my dad said no. I pleaded please read what I have written

Doctor said get a second opinion if you wish.... I did but it was too late my Dad Died before it was all set up.... Bastard!!!!

Virginia - I feel so sorry for you and your experiences with G.P's. They tried to tell my 87 year old Dad he had

Diabetes. It turned out he loved to eat sweets and that's what caused his sugar levels to rise. I told him to keep 

eating them, if that's what he wanted. He died a few weeks later and had lost so much weight while in the 

Nursing Home. If he hadn't eaten his evening meal they would just take it away. It was only a Cheese sandwich

and they courln't be bothered to make sure he had eaten it. I told the family I thought he had starved to death. 

My GP is totally useless. He's only good for writing referrals. Glad I hardly ever have to visit him.

Sadly GP's aren't who they used to be.

My GP's are great. I have 3 in the same practice and hesitate to choose just one because then I would lose the other 2. I generally go to see whichever one I can get into first if my complaint is new and not a follow up. I think most doctors are very caring and ethical.

You are very fortunate indeed Ny19

Do you  get bulk billed in your area or do you have to pay extra ???

We have to pay an extra $37.50 beside the bulk billing.

I pay the fee and only get the Medicare rebate.