Having a regular GP is good for your health
and for the health of the health system!

Did you know that people who have a regular GP are less likely to visit ED and be admitted to hospital?

A General Practitioner, or GP, is a doctor who knows about a range of medical issues. They focus on the health of the whole person. They bring together physical, psychological and social aspects of care.

A GP who you consider to be your regular doctor can help you to access different levels of health care when needed.  This might include specialist and hospital treatment. You regular GP is also there to continue these treatments and work with your other health providers to ensure long-term results.

Some people may not have a single GP, but a group of GPs within a single general practice.

A regular GP can work with you to:

  • Keep you healthier as you age
  • Help you get well from minor illnesses
  • Help prevent future illnesses
  • Catch problems early, before they get more serious
  • Choose the right treatment options
  • Help you to stay out of hospital

This is because a regular GP:

  • Looks at the big picture
  • Knows your health history
  • Is someone you can trust
  • Cares about your health
  • Continues your care when you leave hospital
  • Works as a team with you, your family and other health service providers.

  • Ask someone you trust to recommend a GP to you
  • Search the National Health Services Directory for a local practice: click here
    This directory allows you to check for preferences such as bulk billing, opening hours, proximity to your house, number or gender of GPs.
  • GPs with a particular interest in mental health can be found on the Consenting Practitioner list at www.beyondblue.org.au
  • You may want to meet a few GPs before you find someone that is the right fit for you and your health needs.
Bulk billing

Medicare pays for the full cost of your appointment. The National Health Services Directory listings can let you know which general practices offer bulk billing: click here

Private billing

Practices may charge more than the amount covered by Medicare. This amount will need to be paid and the Medicare amount can be claimed from Medicare. Talk to the practice when making the appointment about their payment options.

Some practices may bulk bill or discount their fee for patients who:

  • Have Health Care Cards
  • Have Veterans Cards
  • Are on a pension
  • Are experiencing financial hardship

Make sure you bring your Medicare Card and any Health Care Cards with you to the appointment. To get a Medicare Card, telephone 132 011.

Good physical health is linked with positive mood, lower levels of stress, depression and anxiety, better concentration and feeling calm and relaxed.

See your GP about:

Sickness and injury

Health checks e.g. breast and prostate screening

Alcohol and other drug use

Mental health


Weight management

Diabetes, asthma and other long term conditions

Parenting or family issues

Give your GP’s details to hospital staff

If you go into hospital for any reason, it is important to tell the hospital your GP’s name or the name of the practice where you see a GP. This will help your ongoing care needs to be coordinated and prevent you returning to hospital.

Make the most of your GP visit

Use this online question builder to help you write a list of questions to ask at your next appointment.

Click this card image to download and print. Fill out your details and keep it handy.