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Medical workforce grows

The number of employed doctors in Australia increased by 13 per cent between 2006 and 2010, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Medical Workforce 2010 report, which was released last week. The proportion of women in the medical practitioner workforce continued to grow, from 34 per cent of employed practitioners in 2006 to 37 per cent in 2010, while the average age of all practitioners remained stable at 46 years.

02 Apr 2012

The number of employed doctors in Australia increased by 13 per cent between 2006 and 2010, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Medical Workforce 2010 report, which was released last week.

The proportion of women in the medical practitioner workforce continued to grow, from 34 per cent of employed practitioners in 2006 to 37 per cent in 2010, while the average age of all practitioners remained stable at 46 years.

Across Australia (excluding Queensland and WA), over 90 per cent of all medical practitioners worked as clinicians, of whom 36 per cent were specialists and 35 per cent were GPs.

The average weekly hours worked by employed medical practitioners decreased slightly from 43.5 hours in 2006 to 43.3 hours in 2010. Over the same period, average hours worked by men decreased slightly, while hours worked by women increased.

The supply of medical practitioners varied across areas of remoteness, ranging from 400 full-time equivalent (FTE) medical practitioners per 100,000 people in Major cities to 185 per 100,000 people in Outer regional areas.

The AIHW says that the larger supply of medical practitioners in Major cities reflects the much higher numbers of specialists and specialists-in-training working in Major cities.

When looking only at the supply of general practitioners (GPs), the numbers are quite similar—105 FTEs per 100,000 people in Major cities and 103 FTEs per 100,000 people in Outer regional areas.

Between 2006 and 2010, the number of employed medical practitioners in Major cities increased by 10.0 per cent and, in Outer regional areas, by 11.9 per cent, which was more than the population growth in these areas.

Medical practitioners in Outer regional areas in 2010 worked, on average, 2 hours per week more than the national average (45.3 compared with 43.3).  GPs in Outer regional areas worked an average 44.5 hours a week compared with the national average for GPs of 39.2 hours.

The full report is on the AIHW website at www.aihw.gov.au

KW


Published: 02 Apr 2012