GPs relying on JobKeeper to keep their practice open

Brisbane GPs Dr Fiona Raciti and Dr Maria Boulton say patient numbers are down while costs for PPE and admin are up

So far, GP Dr Fiona Raciti has racked up a $10,000 bill for personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 crisis — and that’s just the tip of the financial iceberg that's hit her Brisbane practice.

As is the case for many smaller businesses, the mixed-billing practice she and partner Dr Maria Boulton set up is bleeding money and relying on JobKeeper to help pay staff.

While patient numbers are down, costs have skyrocketed for PPE, including Perspex screens for the reception, consumables and cleaning.

Staff wages also climbed, as hours were increased to meet the administrative demand associated with triage and telehealth, including a 300% increase in phone calls.

“In the first two weeks of April, our patient numbers were down by 50%, now I would say 20%,” Dr Raciti tells 6minutes.