Overloaded doctors can't deliver the best care - when is the system going to be fixed?

While politicians debate the quality of healthcare based on bulk-billing rates, those at the coalface — GPs, ED staff, paramedics and patients — know the real story of how well the cogs are turning.

Busy waiting area

The indicators of how successfully a publicly funded health system is performing are easily gauged by those on the front line.

They include how long it takes to see a specialist, have surgery, get a GP appointment and be seen in the local ED.

These are the parameters that show