GP earnings in australia. find out how much.

Yes, yes I know. I have banged on about Consultant/Specialists since I started this blog and neglected that most fragile of creature.

A creature  feared, admired and vilified all in equal measure. Never thanked for being right but always crucified for being wrong. A creature who – if you met them at a party and spoke to them for more then 15 minutes would break into a mild sweat as they realised your time with them was up..but still you waffled on.

A pillar of society, a template of the bourgeoisie, a lazy tv screen writer’s go to hero/heroine/bad person.  Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you… the General Practioner.   

GPs arriving in Australia will earn AU250,000 – AU350,000.

Some background to bore you with before I get back to the cash.

In Australia, Primary health care (PHC) services are delivered in contexts such as general practices, community health centres, aboriginal community health centres, and allied health practices.

The Federal Government funding for GP services is approx. 8% of total government health expenditure (AIHW Health Expenditure Australia 2013-14.Table A6 p77). Doesn’t sound like much but it is an investment that does actually deliver excellent outcomes for most patients.

In the Aussie system whilst the Feds are the dominant funder of GP services, the patient delivers about 6.5% of total GP costs and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) is an advocate of wealthier patients taking on a larger burden of the costs of their GP care. As long as the poorest don’t fall through the cracks, of course.

The main funding model is FFS – no I’m not having a texting expletive moment! This means Fee For Service. In my opinion this system works here in Australia, providing decent choice, access to care and in my opinion real first class facilities in many instances.

GPs in Australia are self-employed (unless you are a FRACGP working for a public health service servicing remote communities for example, then you can be PAYG. This a decent job actually and you can earn 450-500k if you have the stomach and love for the remote work).

GP’s bank a % of the moneys they generate either by invoicing the patient directly, the patient’s medical insurance provider or Medicare – the platform in which the Federal government delivers universal health care. As you will be self employed you won’t get a salary as such but you get between 50-75% of what you bill – depending on what is on offer by the practise. 

You’ll see and hear the phrase Bulk Billing with GP practises. Bulk billing describes a GP practice where the patient doesn’t pay for seeing their GP – the GP invoices directly to Medicare. This is described as consult charge, and is currently about $37 (non bulk billing is about $60 or just over).

At my GP clinic, I pay for the full consultation and then I claim it back from my medical insurer – that can be directly at the POS or I can do it later.

Bulk Billing is the standard scenario for disabled, students, kids, old age pensioners etc.

Naturally it will take you time to build up a client base but build it you will. Expect AU250-AU350k and upwards towards AU450k, from your 2nd full year in Australia – maybe even more depending on a few factors. How much sausage meat you put in one end of the machine…sorry..what I meant much time you spend with each patient. The more patients you see, the more dough you earn.

Interesting fact: did you know male GPs in Australia on average spend 10minutes with their patients whilst female GPs spent 15mins? I’ll leave that one with you. Another interesting fact is that there are now more practising GPs who are female then male.

Also the location of the practise is key as you can imagine. There are government incentives to encourage GPs to go to more remoter areas in Australia. These can be financial but there is also an incentive available to reduce the moratorium from 10 years to 5 for overseas trained doctors.

Obviously a major factor to allow you to earn more cash, is what the billing arrangements are for a practise: bulk billing, private or a mix of all.

Naturally, the hours you put in, what shifts you do, the public holidays you work etc. will impact earnings as well.

A lot of practises may have additional services bolted on : a “Supa Clinic” with access to radiology, dermatology, psychiatry – from their building. This can increase earnings per patient as it centralises services, reducing overheads but maximising earnings.

Well thats about that on initial earnings for GPs in Australia. I hope it made sense!

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