Can a DWS area be over-doctored? Yes, it certainly can but many GPs and practice owners may not be aware that the DWS system does not always reflect reality and there are no workforce shortages in some DWS areas. While severe GP shortages continue right across Australia many DWS areas have an over-supply of doctors.
For GPs under the moratorium, it can be hard to know which DWS areas are experiencing a workforce shortage and high patient demand and which are over doctored.
We speak to GPs all over Australia every day of the week and that gives us an indication of the trends, so we have put together a list of the top 3 over-doctored DWS areas in Australia:
Gold Coast, QLD
Areas such as Helensvale and Robina have been a popular destination for UK expats who are looking to relocate to a warmer climate. Many practices here are owned by inexperienced operators and have ‘stocked up’ on GPs. Not all GPs are busy and only certain practices do well.
South eastern Suburbs, VIC
Certain pockets in the south east have held DWS status for the past few years now and the number of privately owned GP practices has increased significantly. This has been a hot spot for GPs under moratorium who are looking to open their own practices and as such, the area has been flooded with GPs. However, suburbs like Cranbourne have been experiencing the highest population growth in Australia and will most likely have a genuine need for sustained GP growth over the next 5 years.
Western Suburbs, VIC
Many of the practice in this area are smaller and indistinguishable from each other and therefore struggle to make a clear value proposition. However, as a result the best operators do well here. It is also a major growth corridor for Victoria and will require sustained GP numbers over the coming years.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule and some of our best vacancies are in these areas. Business models and practice set ups all come into play when determining whether a GP vacancy is legitimate.
If you are a GP considering a move into a DWS area, contact our office so we can tell you about the market trends in the location you are looking at.