This issue of Partyline’s theme of ‘technology, innovation and digital wins’ gives the Department of Health an opportunity to let readers know about our work analysing and reporting on general practitioner (GP) and other primary care services. The Health Demand and Supply Utilisation Patterns Planning (HeaDS UPP) Tool was funded in May 2018 and uses data from multiple sources. This includes Medicare Benefits Scheme claims, the National Health Workforce Data Set (the information entered by practitioners annually at re-registration with AHPRA) and the Medical Education and Training data from specialist medical colleges.
The initial work to establish the HeaDS UPP Tool is now reaping rewards, with the ability to show GP services across the country. For example, in 2020 GPs provided 36.96 million telehealth consults compared to 0.05 million in 2019, which corresponded with a decrease in standard consultations from 100.86 million in 2019 to 77.99 million in 2020. Other useful statistics are the age, gender and country of initial medical qualification of Australia’s GPs, and reports on the types and volume of services provided per Modified Monash Model area. For the first time there is also a commentary reflecting on the outcome of policies and programs on the workforce.
Access to the website of reports and summary tables about the health workforce in Australia is via hwd.health.gov.au