Transient doctors affecting children

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Indigenous children and those born overseas are less likely to have a regular family doctor than all other Australian children, according to a new report by researchers at The Australian National University Medical School.

Lead author and Professor of General Practice Marjan Kljakovic said the study involved more than 30,000 parents in the ACT and it looked at how many children had a regular GP and therefore received continuity of care.

“Our research aimed to find out the proportion of doctors displaying continuous and transient care over time and also to describe the equity of access to GP care for children in the ACT,” he said.

“Patient continuity of care can be defined in a number of different ways in relation to continuity over time, passing on of information and the continuous personal relationship with the healthcare provider.

“In this eight-year study, we also considered whether GPs stayed in one place long enough to provide that continuity which is something that hasn’t been examined before.

“We found that the frequency of GPs displaying continuity of care varied over time with 19 per cent being present in the ACT in only one year and 39 per cent of GPs being present in every year of the study.

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