Background The general practice workforce required for Australia in the
future will depend on many factors, including geographic
areas and patient utilisation of general practice services.
Objective This article examines the current and future general
practice workforce requirements by way of an analysis
of geographic areas accounting for differing patient
Discussion The results showed that, compared with major cities,
inner regional areas had 24.4% higher expected patient
general practice utilisation per general practitioner, outer
regional 33.2%, and remote/very remote 21.4%. Balanced
distribution would mean 1129 fewer GPs in major cities:
639 more in inner regional, 423 more in outer regional
and 66 more in remote/very remote. With the population
projected to increase 18.6–26.1% by 2020, expected general
practice utilisation will increase by 27.0–33.1%.
Initiatives addressing general practice workforce shortages
should account for increasing general practice utilisation
due to the aging population, or risk exacerbating the
unequal distribution of general practice services.
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