Australia’s population is ageing. People are getting older, and there are more older people now than ever before. People aren’t having as many babies, and people are living much longer than they used to. In fact, by 2020 it is predicted that 13.7% of the population will be between 65 and 79, and 4.3% will be over 80.
While in an emergency people are encouraged to go to the hospital, if it’s just a run-of-the-mill visit for arthritic pain, or prescription renewal, the GP is a patient’s best bet. And what do many older people suffer from? Arthritis. What do they take a lot of? Medications. What does this all mean for GP services? The demand for general practitioners is slowly increasing, making Australia a prime place to relocate if you’re looking to expand your professional horizons.
In 2011 there were 43,400 general practitioners; this is expected to rise and it’s predicted that with an older population comes longer GP consultations and an increased number of doctors required for our ageing population. The older patient can’t be hurried – they may have hearing or sight impairments that dictate communication methods; carers might tag along to help or a younger relative could sit in on the consultation; they demand time to be seen (unlike younger patients with much to do, who want to be in and out within minutes); they could have many prescriptions so time is required to check contraindications etc. While a GP is with their older patient, others still need to be seen. This increases their demand.
Dealing with the older patient presents a slew of new and interesting issues. It is a challenging scenario, and older patients have very complex requirements. Many older people can’t leave their homes for various reasons; this will mean the doctor will have to go to the patient. Community doctors will be in demand as this segment of the population increases. Whether you see yourself as a community or practice doctor, there’s still a genuine need for GP services.
Just as the number of older people in the Australian community is set to increase, so too is the demand for GP services. GP jobs in Australia are not only popular, they are the best way to experience Australia and its people. If you’re contemplating the move and need assistance with relocating and entering the medical workforce, HealthStaff Recruitment can help. Call and speak with us today.