The Medical Labour Force Survey 2005 identified a total of 61,165 people in the medical labour force. A further 6,725 were not employed in the medical labour force. These included:
- 2,947 who were working overseas in medicine
- 414 who were employed elsewhere, not in medicine
- 695 who were not employed and
- 2,669 who were retired.
- 22,589 or 36.9% who were working in primary care
- 6,632 or 10.8% who were hospital non-specialists
- 19,943 or 32.6% who were specialists and
- 6,920 or 11.3% who were identified as specialists-in-training.
Table 3.1.1: Employed medical practitioners: Work setting and sector, 2005
|Private medical practitioners' room/surgery||-||32,181|
|Hospital (including psychiatric hospitals)||26,480||9,279|
|Non-residential health facility, such as ambulatory centre, day surgery, community health centre or outpatient clinic||4,259||2,094|
|24-hour or other medical centre (not included above)||-||1,119|
|Other residential care facility, such as nursing home or hospice||741||1,772|
|Aboriginal health service||514||184|
|Tertiary education institution||2,269||1,336|
|Government (including defence force, laboratory and research organisation)||1,479||-|
(a) A medical practitioner may work in both sectors and more than one setting.
Source: AIHW Medical Labour Force Survey, 2005.
(Royal Australian College of General Practitioners' submission)Top of page
General practitionersIn 2006-07, there were 25,564 GPs providing services under Medicare. The volume of services indicates that this is the FWE of 18,091 GPs.
Although the number of GPs continues to grow, this growth does not indicate increased availability of GPs over time, as the growth in the medical workforce has not kept pace with the rate of population growth. Over the decade from 1996-97 to 2006-07 the FWE of GPs increased by 10.9%, while the population increased by some 13.0% resulting in an overall decrease in the supply.
The growth in the number of FWE GPs working in rural and remote areas rose by 8.7% over the past three years. This includes both GPs new to Australia and GPs relocating from metropolitan areas. Medicare data shows that 36% of doctors currently working in Australia were trained overseas, with more than 41% of doctors working in rural and remote areas having trained overseas (Figure 3.3).