Call to ease GP load with assistants and pharmacists

The Grattan Institute called on federal and state governments to spend $30 million a year in the seven worst performing rural and remote areas lagging behind metropolitan areas for health services access.

The institute compared GP rates across Australia and found that parts of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and South East Queensland boast more than 100 doctors per 100,000 people, while some regions had fewer than 80.

The Grattan Institute’s health program director, Dr Stephen Duckett (PhD), said while access to GPs had increased in major regional centres, areas like the Pilbara and Northern Territory had fallen behind.

Central and North West Queensland, the Midwest Goldfields of WA, New England, Southern NSW and South West WA are the other Medicare Local regions focused on in the study.

The Grattan Institute proposes setting a target to increase GP numbers to 84 per 100,000 people in five years in those seven regions.

To do