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26 Jul 2018

AMA FAMILY DOCTOR WEEK, 22- 28 July 2018

Your Family Doctor: Here for you

General practice – the cornerstone of Australia’s healthcare system – is undergoing remarkable change to better meet patient needs, AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said today.

Marking AMA Family Doctor Week 2018, Dr Bartone said that technological advances and changing business practices are combining to improve the service to patients.

“Every day in Australia, there are about 406,000 visits to family doctors and, on average, Australians see a family doctor about six times a year,” Dr Bartone said.

“Most patients have a preferred family doctor, and about 93 per cent of Australians always go to the same general practice. As people get older, they are more likely to keep seeing the same doctor.

“Many general practices have become larger and more diverse in the services that they offer to patients.

“More than ever, family doctors are working with other health professionals to care for patients, and many practices employ a range of allied health professionals, including practice nurses, pharmacists, diabetes educators, Aboriginal health workers, and psychologists.

“Many general practices now have co-located pathology collection centres, and point-of-care testing services are increasingly available in the practice to provide timely test results for your GP.

“General practice is now highly computerised. This means that if your own family doctor is unavailable, another doctor in the practice can look after you, with immediate access to your clinical records.

“Many practices also offer point-of-care Medicare claiming, online appointment making, and recall and follow-up systems to ensure that patients do not fall through the cracks.

“You can also talk to your GP about creating an electronic My Health Record, to ensure that those in your health care team can make informed treatment decisions.

“But one thing that will never change is the trusted relationship between a family doctor and their patient, and the personal touch that is so important.”

Family Doctor Week recognises and celebrates the important role that family GPs play in the lives of their patients. It runs from 22-28 July 2018.



  • General practitioners are specialists in their own right, and must undergo 10-15 years of formal education and training before they can practise independently.
  • GPs are trained to treat the whole person, and to care for people of all ages, all walks of life, and with all types of medical issues and concerns.
  • In 2015-16, Australia had 35,934 GPs, who provided 145.4 million non-referred attendances services.

Follow all the action on Twitter: #amafdw18 and the Family Doctor Week Website with videos.

26 July 2018

CONTACT:           John Flannery                              02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761
                             Maria Hawthorne                         02 6270 5478 / 0427 209 753


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Published: 26 Jul 2018