How often do Australians visit the doctor?

Angus Kidman 16 November 2016 NEWS


And are we happy with how long we'll wait for an appointment?

So Australia is all like "I've got a Medicare card and I'm going to use it". Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Patient Experience Survey show that 82% of us visited a doctor at least once in 2015-2016. However, those figures did vary based on age, gender and location. Here's the breakdown of people who needed to see a GP over that period by age and sex:

As you'd expect, proportion of visits goes up with age. Women are more likely to visit a doctor than men, although this gap evens out somewhat as people get older.

Chances are we're not paying for that initial visit. Bulk billing remains the most common model for GPS receiving payment. However, if we're sent off to a specialist, we're likely to end up out of pocket, even if we do have insurance.

We're also probably not waiting too long for an appointment. 81.1% of us think we didn't have to wait too long to see a GP.

What will our experience be like when we get there? The chart below shows how patients feel about whether their GP listened carefully, showed respect and spent enough time on their problems.

Nothing's perfect, but that seems like a pretty good report card for the medical profession down under.

Angus Kidman's Findings column looks at new developments and research that help you save money, make wise decisions and enjoy your life more. It appears Monday through Friday on

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