GP in Australia | A day in the life of a GP
We talk to Dr Philip Hulme who we helped relocate to the Australia’s sunniest city, Perth Western Australia. Philip moved to Perth in July 2017 and has settled well into life down under. He talks to us about what it’s like to be a GP in Australia.
What made you decide to move to Australia?
I moved because of the way general practice was going in the UK, we had talked about it for a while and it was now or never so we decided to go for it!
Tell us about a typical day in your GP role…
I work 4 days averaging 36 hours per week. I work a combination of long and short days, varying both starting and finishing times to suit me which adds variety. I turn up, consult in the morning, have a lunch break, consult again and go home. There are no home visits, very few phone calls, no prescriptions to sign and very little paperwork.
Everything is done in the consulting room. When you finish, you just get to go home instead of having hours’ worth of paperwork. In Australia you get to spend more time doing the bit you enjoy – consulting.
Best bit about your day?
I love doing procedures and cutting bits out. I have the opportunity to do more of this than I would have done in the UK. I perform punch biopsies, find cancer and can perform excisions easily. I am completing a skin cancer course next month and have the chance to develop further skills. Once you have these skills, you are able to utilise them in practice.
Most challenging part of you day?
The most challenging part is the waiting time on the public waiting list procedures for patients who don’t have private health cover. A fair proportion of people have private health insurance however in my area, many don’t. Some patients have a year wait for a routine operation which I would like to try to things happen faster but can’t.
How have you and your family settled in and would you have any tips for other GPs relocating?
We’re settling in well, my son has gone to university. I would recommend that anyone considering applying for permanent residency to get their paperwork in order before they leave for Australia.
How have you found the transition from general practice in the UK to Australia?
In the UK, the motivation is to see people as infrequently as possible, where in Australia you see people whenever there is a need.
I can do 3 hours of procedures here which wouldn’t have been possible in the UK for which I’m properly reimbursed. In Australia, a GP is free to do what they want within their own skill set. I’ve been able to reduce my hours from 55 to 36 with no significant change in income.
Let me think…… you do get patients who come in for a medical certificate for 1 day of sickness which is slightly irksome however you are paid for reach patient which detracts from any irritation.
Finally, how have you found Transition Medical in helping you make the move to Australia?
I have found Transition Medical to be absolutely excellent, no criticism at all. You were always quick to respond and clear in communication. You kept us right, throughout the process which I don’t think I could have done myself. To find out what our other GPs have to say about our service read our GP testimonials