A recent report by Deloitte revealed that the workforce of general practitioners in Australia will fall short of nationwide demand by nearly 10,000 individuals in the next 10 years.
Australia’s health care workforce is already understaffed. Compared to the 254 GPs per 100,000 people in some parts of Europe, Australia currently only has 70.5 GPs per 100,000 in remote areas, and just 103.5 GPs per 100,000 in major cities.
The demand side of the equation is also heavily weighing into the potential imbalance as well. The rise in chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, only serves to create greater demand for GPs.
Meanwhile, Australia has an ageing – and growing – population. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare projects that Australians aged 65 and over will grow from 15% of the total population in 2017 to 25% by 2057. With an ageing population comes additional health risks, and a spike in the need for adequate health care.
The potential for medical negligence
While doctors and other medical staff no doubt do their best to provide high-quality health services, one person can only do so much. With analysts forecasting a significant drop in the percentage of GPs, it’s only going to stretch the workforce thinner.
This can potentially lead to increased workloads and less time spent diagnosing and interacting with each patient. Such conditions may, in turn, lead to a decline in the care GPs can provide for their patients. Once level of care falls, it opens the door for negligence and malpractice.
With GPs poised to be burdened with even greater workloads, it’s imperative that patients take the extra steps necessary to ensure they remain in good health. But when it’s time to go to the doctor, it’s also crucial for patients to take it upon themselves to learn more about what ails them.
However, even in the best of circumstances and with the best intentions, GPs can make mistakes. When this happens, it can lead to serious injury or illness for the patient.
If you suspect you’ve been the victim of medical negligence or malpractice, don’t hesitate to contact the legal experts at Gerard Malouf and Partners.