Back in 2021 patients were satisfied and happy with the way GP practices adapted so quickly during the pandemic. But with everyday life going back to normal, practices are feeling the pressure with mounting costs, stagnant Medicare rates and a lack of doctors to provide care to their communities. Practices are doing their best to cope with the current environment, but how are the patients being affected?
Recently the Commbank GP Insights report was released sharing some fabulous insights into the world of General Practice from both the practice and patient viewpoints. Now of course most of these insights will not be news to those of us working in the GP space every day, however it is interesting and valuable to have this information confirmed in a public report.
Eighty-six percent of patients noted that they were satisfied with their current practice however the number of patients indicating they were ‘very’ satisfied has seen a significant drop especially in the Gen Z age range which decreased by 20%.
These satisfaction rates have been impacted by a number of factors however the most significant problems noted were the increased wait times, the ability to find available appointments and increases in fees. Whilst 83% of patients saw only their preferred GP, this number may soon change in line with the downward trend in satisfaction levels.
Interestingly, the number of patients who saw themselves in great health had decreased from 45% to 36% this year. This has resulted in a jump in patient demand with 47% of practices seeing higher patient numbers compared to the previous year and this number continued to trend upwards.
The data provided in the report clearly backs up the calls from practices around the country for more support, more funding and more doctors. However, the news is not all bad, with many patients still entirely satisfied with their GP and practice, and practices reporting that they are optimistic about the future, focusing on expanding services and improving technology in the year ahead.
You can access the full report here.