Patients with arthritis can’t access their GP

MORE than two-thirds of Australians with arthritis are struggling with pain, reduced work capacity and limited access to health practitioners, including GPs, according to results from a national survey.

Only around a third of the 1000 patients surveyed said they were coping well with their condition, while half were doing “fairly badly” and 16% were doing “badly”.

Those who report difficulties had less access to GPs, physiotherapists and specialists, and were spending more money on treatment.

Seventy-seven per cent find it hard to get an appointment with their GP and 95% find it hard to get in to see a specialist, according to the survey sponsored by Medicines Australia and Arthritis Australia.

Only 5% of the people who were worst affected felt that support from government was adequate, while 8% of those groups felt that they had inadequate access to effective pain-relieving medications.

The determinants