2018 Workforce Survey results 

23 May 2019

The College is pleased to release the second of its three Workforce Survey 2018 reports. While the first focused on GP demographics, this report identifies factors that might encourage part-time GPs (and those nearing retirement) to increase their working hours. 

The report also collected data on GP-to-GP referrals, which paints a picture about GPs’ expertise. It found skin surgery was the most frequently identified treatment for which a GP received a referral,  followed by long-acting reversible contraception insertion or removal, then joint injections.

In addition, the College asked GPs how often they change practices, and found that they don’t tend to move often. On average, GPs had been at their current practice for just over 12 years. This suggests most Kiwis still benefit from having a long-term relationship with a GP, ensuring good stability and continuity of care.

What we found out about working hours

When it comes to our part time GPs, the most commonly identified factors that would enable or encourage them to increase their working hours were:

  • Increasing age of children
  • Higher remuneration
  • Less stressful work environment
  • Being able to adjust working hours

Amongst GPs who intend to retire within 10 years, the most important factors that would encourage GPs to delay their retirement were:

  • Longer and more frequent holidays 
  • Longer appointment time with fewer patients per session
  • Not having to take part in after-hours care rosters

What we found out about GPs who receive referrals from Colleagues

  • 52% of GPs said they receive referrals from other GPs, because they have expertise in a particular field of practice.
  • Although referrals were received for treatment of a wide range of conditions, the most frequently identified areas of practice were:
    1. Skin surgery
    2. Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) insertion or removal
    3. Joint injections
    4. Contraception

What we found out about mobility 

  • GPs don’t tend to move practices often. On average, our GPs had been at their current practice for just over 12 years. 
  • More than a quarter (28%) had been at their current practice for more than 20 years.
  • What’s more, 81% said it was likely or extremely likely that they’d still be at their current practice in two years’ time.
  • Future mobility is higher among respondents who are burnt out or in rural practices.

About this research

This is the fifth in a series of annual workforce surveys that the College has undertaken since 2014. In 2018 a total of 3,056 College members participated in the survey, providing our highest ever response rate (61 percent).  

This survey provides objective evidence which is crucial if we are to make informed decisions in order to future proof our workforce. The data helps identify pressure points and set the direction of our advocacy work.  

You can read the first report on GP demographics here.
The third report, being released in June) focuses on the rural workforce. 

More information

If you would like to see a copy of the Workforce survey questions, please email us at communications@rnzcgp.org.nz