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Update: GP Salary in Australia, 24 Hour Pharmacies and Shortage of Radiologists in Australia

September 25, 2019 0 Comments

We highlight factors that influence General Practitioner’s Salaries in Australia, the recent findings from 24 Hour Pharmacies in VIC and what implications the Shortage of Radiologists in Australia has on patient care and recruitment. 

General Practitioner (GP) Salary in Australia

24 Hour Pharmacies

Shortage of Radiologists in Australia

 

General Practitioner (GP) Salary in Australia

A career as a General Practitioner (GP) often means excellent rewards, financial stability and the opportunity for personal and professional development.

To pursue a career as a GP, medical professionals need to have a diverse knowledge and skills in order to ensure medicine requirements and safety when treating patients. Generally, GPs can undergo approximately 10 years of education or more, and work their way to perform in medical practice.

GPs work closely with clinical teams and other specialists for a more integrated patient care. They have also been considered at the centre of a primary health care system. They play a crucial role in terms of helping patients who are not admitted in a hospital.

Payscale GP Jobs

According to Payscale, the average annual salary for a GP in Australia in 2019 can fluctuate around $129,721. However, some GPs could earn a lot more than that and daily average earnings for GP Jobs around $2000 are possible.

GP’s salary may vary greatly depending on a number of contributing factors to the position. Below are some of the elements that may influence how much a doctor can earn.

Type of Contract

Permanent contract or Locum contract both come with different remuneration and incentives; Permanent contracts will specify a split % of billings between the GP and the practice and often times also an hourly rate guarantee from $120 to sometimes up to $170 per hour for a negotiated period of time, usually around the first 3 to 6 months of a GP’s employment.

Locum contracts will specify an ongoing daily ($1000–2500) or hourly rate (also $120–170) for the locum GP regardless of the practice’s billings and this rate will heavily depend on the location of the GP Job as well as the amount of responsibilities the GP has and the length of employment.

Location of the GP Job

Generally, Rural GP Jobs both as permanent and locum can be more rewarding for a GP in Australia. There are more incentives to combat Australia’s Rural GP Shortage such as higher pay rates, educational training opportunities and additional allowances for travel, accommodation and relocation expenses. Metropolitan GP Jobs can also have benefits, such as a higher demand for certain GP medical services and more high-traffic areas guaranteeing a steady workload.

GP Skills & Type of work undertaken

The more specialised a GP in Australia becomes the higher their average salary. Examples of In-Demand GP services can be Dermatology, Occupational Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Women’s Health, Locums, After-Hours and Home Visits to name just a few.

GP stethoscope and laptop for salary research

Location of the practice

A GP working in a hospital or privately operated clinic in a metro city can expect to earn a higher salary than their counterparts working in a similar clinic in a rural area of Australia. Unless they decided to become a Full-time Locum GP and explore multiple positions.

It could also be affected by the number of patients a GP can see. It can take 3-6 months to build up your patient base and become fully booked. Therefore a lot of practices offer GPs a minimum guarantee for the first months whilst building a patient base.

If you are working full time and steadily seeing 4-6 patients per hour you can expect to earn a potentially high annual salary from $200k+ upwards to $400k.

The percentage of billings

As a GP you will be offered somewhere in the range of 60 – 70% of the total billings you generate for the practice. The private consultation fee for the practice can vary depending on the business and bulk billing items can also depend on the type of consultation. Standard bulk billing consultation can still have add-on charges for certain items. Minor surgeries, dermatology and skin checks, and health assessments may substantially increase the billings.

Questions?

If you have any questions about your current billings, or would like to explore other opportunities in your area? Please contact one of our friendly team of consultants Today and let us tell you what GP jobs are available around Australia.

Pharmacy pills collection

24 Hour Pharmacies

The Victorian Government has been supporting its pharmacies and nursing services to provide extra care in their communities by extending their opening hours.

The initiative is helping more people to get easier access to affordable healthcare and medical advice when they need it, 24-hours every day and closer to their home. It involved opening a number of Supercare Pharmacies across the state to provide additional healthcare, run by both pharmacists and nurses, for various minor illnesses and treatments. Has it been helpful?

Supercare Pharmacy Scheme

The Government has 2 main interests in funding Supercare Pharmacies.

  • Keep people with minor injuries out of busy hospital emergency departments.
  • Providing people with medical advice and products throughout the night.

According to the owner of the Carnovale Pharmacy – one of the first 5 Supercare Pharmacies to open in Victoria, 24-hour pharmacies have allowed patients to avoid long queues at hospitals for medicine and instead received appropriate treatment from a pharmacist.

Additionally, 24 hour pharmacies would be the perfect solution for people who get discharged from the hospital during the night with a prescription, so they could get the medicine immediately.

The Victorian Government committed $28.7 million to creating 20 Supercare Pharmacies in 2018 and the role played by pharmacies is continuing to become more important.

At this years Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference, the Federal Minister for Health, told the audience that the Government’s vision for an even better health system would involve an expanded health care role for the pharmacists.

Since launching in 2017, hundreds of thousands of Victorians have visited a Supercare Pharmacy. Based on last year’s report from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, the government also spent more than $300,000 to increase people’s awareness about this new scheme.

Annual Report 2017-18 Department of Health and Human Services

What 24 Hour Pharmacies Can Offer

The Pharmacies are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and provide all-day access to qualified pharmacists for medical advice, medicine and dispensing prescriptions.

A registered nurse may also operate in a private consulting room to assist with minor issues.

The nursing services may provide:

  • Face-to-face medical advice and treatment for minor injuries, wound management, flu and whooping cough immunisations
  • Health screening, assessments and advice for illness prevention, including blood pressure checks, blood sugar testing and weight management
  • Sexual health advice
  • Referrals to other services if required

24 Hour Pharmacies can provide a safe and accessible alternative for less urgent matters, but they would not replace doctors or the need to visit an emergency department in extreme cases.

There are currently 20 Supercare Pharmacies located across Victoria, with 6 located in regional areas. A Supercare Pharmacy still operates under the name and branding of the pharmacy selected though to avoid confusion. There will be signage to indicate it is one of the Supercare Pharmacies.

For more information about the locations of those pharmacies.

Pharmacy store building sign

A success story

A 69 years old retiree from St Leonards, answering to a SeniorOnline post mentioned how a Supercare Pharmacy enabled him to have his treatment closer to home when he needed it the most.

His arm was injured and he had a crushed nerve. Even though his surgery helped to remove the pressure from the nerves, his wound was physically touched every time he moved his arms.

One evening, he went to a pharmacy nearby to get some bandage to stop the rubbing.

Luckily, it was one of Victoria’s 20 Supercare Pharmacies and after telling the nurse about his problem, he instantly was provided a large tube bandage to stop anything from touching his wound.

The nurse also showed him how to manage the wound so that he could continue his recovery.

This success story was also featured in the annual report from Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to illustrate how Supercare Pharmacies have proven to be a great resource for patients with small injuries.

What are you thoughts about this initiative in Victoria? Would this change have a potential to be applied nationwide?

We would love to hear from you. Let us know by scheduling a call Today with our friendly consultant Sean Kelly and find out more what pharmacist jobs in Australia he can discuss with you.

Love Cardiogram Radiology

Shortage of Radiologists in Australia

General Practitioners are not the only ones with a rural shortage in Australia, clinical Radiologists in regional areas are also impacted and there can be negative impacts on the patient care.

Radiologist Supply in Australia

According to the March 2018 edition of InsideNews on RANZCR, in 2016 there were 2013 radiologists in Australia, a 14% increase since 2012 and 75% increase since 2000 due to a doubling of trainee numbers between 2000 and 2012. This growth surpassed the population growth and Medicare utilisation.

The 2016 report also had the following findings for Radiologists in Australia:

  • 73.5% were male, 26.5% female;
  • The average age was around 50 (men’s age 51.3 & women’s age 46.9) with one third being over 55 years of age;
  • Women were more likely to work Part-time early on in their careers, for men this was the opposite who preferred to work Part-time hours later in their careers
  • Men were more likely to be interventional radiologists and performed proportionately more procedures than women;
  • A disproportionately high number (87%) are living in the major capital cities of Australia;
  • Rural Radiologists on average were found to be older, men and more likely to be generalists.

Low mobility was also a factor – the findings in 2016 suggested less than 2% of Radiologists were unemployed and actively looking for work, and 2015 findings showed that around 50% of Radiologists had worked in their current jobs for nearly 10 years without having a need to change the workplace.

Doctors discussing x ray results in consultation

Location of Radiologist Jobs

Based on the 2016 Clinical Radiology Workforce Census Report Australia, a geographical imbalance was considered one of the biggest contributions to the shortage of Radiologists in rural Australia. It can be difficult to attract new Radiologists to relocate permanently – even when offering partnership and highly lucrative salaries.

Some of the reasons for this may include:

  • If working as a locum or short-term then the Radiologist is away from their family for periods of time;
  • If working permanently then the partners also need to find employment and children may need schooling choices;
  • Potential risk of competition depending on the area of Australia and potential loss of hospital work;
  • Lifestyle sacrifices when comparing amenities of small vs large cities.

Implications

Last year it was revealed that due to the ongoing shortage of Radiologists in Canberra, inpatient X-rays were being reviewed offsite for over a year. This created problems whereby patients’ previous scans history were ignored and trainee specialists sometimes worked unsupervised. The scans were either sent interstate or sometimes sent overseas to doctors working for a private Radiology provider and this is where previous patient histories can be overlooked.

This would lower the standard of medical services because the external reporting Radiologist did not discuss the scans with the clinician responsible for treating the patient. In this case, the external Radiologist did not have full access to previous scans to be able to make the best interpretations of the results.

Radiologists discussing x ray scan results

Also in South Australia, BreastScreen mentioned how this shortage has impacted the time that patients are advised of their results. Female patients were expected to receive their result letters up to 15 days after the screening.

It is important there is a stable and ongoing Radiologist workforce. Patients will benefit immensely with faster test results and more specialised and local care who are also aware of their full history.

And similarly to Canberra, Adelaide’s hospitals have also had problems with a shortage of Radiologists. They also experienced delays in reporting. A delay in diagnosis can often be serious if it is a severe health problem, because then the intervention is also delayed and overall the successful outcome for the patient is at risk.

With RANZCR’s InsideNews reports, there is some indication that addressing the expansion of Radiology sites, providing training opportunities such as the Commonwealth Integrated Rural Training Pathway (IRTP) and prioritising recruitment issues for permanent and locum Radiologist jobs could have positive impacts in the industry.

What are your thoughts on the implications from a Radiologist shortage? Our friendly consultant Judith Butcher would love to hear from you.

Radiologist highlighted keyboard

Gorilla Jobs can assist you with exploring a variety of job opportunities across our large network of clients looking for qualified staff. Our experienced consultants in the Doctor, Imaging and Pharmacy divisions look forward to helping you.

Speak to one of our Senior Consultants today and find out what career and recruitment advice will help you to navigate through the positions available and which ones are most suited to your situation.

We also have more useful tips and fun facts on our Gorilla Jobs Blogs. 

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