Clinics on life support as GP wages rise $1 in five years
Small community doctor surgeries are becoming unviable as the hourly wage rate for general practitioners has increased by only $1 in five years.
New data shows that the lowest hourly wage for a GP in 2018 was less than $77 per hour and the median wage was $101 per hour. The earnings of general practitioners compares poorly with other specialist physicians like ophthalmologists, orthopaedic surgeons and radiologists who are the biggest earners.
The top 25 per cent of ophthalmologists brought in at least $456 per hour through 2018, before tax but after practice costs. The data from Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) has been released by Australian Doctor.
"Medicare funding has not kept up with inflation but the job of a general practitioner has become more complex with higher demands and that requires more equipment and resources. Small, one doctor surgeries find it tough going and that is why we see more and more health centres with multiple GPs," the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Queensland chair Dr Bruce Willett said.
The GP is the first port of call for an early diagnosis and doctors need to be across many conditions.
"I see about 25 patients a day and only one or two of those patients have a single condition, the majority have a combination of health problems that need attention," Dr Willett said.
The RACGP chair said all specialists have their challenges but the salary data shows a disappointing lack of progression for the GP.
The MABEL data shows GPs worked up to 40 hours per week and non GP specialists up to 45 hours per week.
The median hourly earning for a radiologist was $260, ophthalmologists $254 and orthopaedic surgeons $250. At the bottom of their earning scales with general practitioners were paediatric specialists at $139 and respiratory doctors at $126.
A bartender earns an estimated $24 per hour, a cleaner $27 per hour, lawyers rates can vary but can reach $650.
Check out the full list of doctor earnings online at www.couriermail.com.au
Originally published as Clinics on life support as GP wages rise $1 in five years