General practitioners (GPs) provide most Australians with their primary health care. The GP is often a person’s first contact with the health system—as such, the relationship a patient has with their GP is crucial to the delivery of quality, coordinated care across their life. This relationship, together with the continuity of care a patient receives, is the cornerstone of patient centred care—a model that involves the patient in their care and focuses on their individual needs.
This report uses the 2016 Survey of Health Care to look at patients’ use of, and experiences with, GP care. It focuses on whether patients have a usual GP and/or place of care and how this continuity of care affects their experiences.
The report also explores variation across Australia’s 31 Primary Health Network (PHN) areas, and the effects of sociodemographic factors, such as a person’s level of education. Patients surveyed were a sample of Australians aged 45 and over who had visited a GP at least once in the previous year.