16 Aug 2016

GP shortage expected to hit rural, poor communities hardest

1:17 pm on 16 August 2016

General Practitioners (GPs) are warning an acute shortage of family doctors will hurt poorer areas and rural communities in the near future.

Preliminary findings from a survey by the College of GPs found 44 percent planned to retire in the next 10 years and there were not enough GPs in their 30 and 40s to replace them.

An image of a doctor typing on a laptop

There are not enough doctors to replace retiring GPs, a survey suggests. Photo: 123RF

The survey found the percentage of GPs planning to retire was increasing year on year, while demand for GP services was growing.

College president Tim Malloy said the survey's findings only compounded concerns about the current GP shortage.

"Our biggest worry is the current inequity in accessing health care may be exagerated, and specifically [in] less attractive places to work in - which are our impoverished communities and our rural communities - will be the most difficult to man," he said.

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