The average GP salary in Australia has risen in 2021.
Unlike other specialties, many general practitioners are independent contractors. This means GP earnings vary. Where you work, the number of hours worked, and the type and number of consultations done all have an impact on how much you earn as a GP.
Last year, the average GP salary in Australia took a hit. The Covid-19 pandemic meant that GP visits and billings were down and many GPs took on reduced hours.
But in 2021, GP visit numbers appear to be on the rise again. There are also growing opportunities in telehealth, increasing the number of patients GPs can help.
Big changes to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) have resulted in a slight increase in GP base salaries.
According to General Practice Registrars Australia, annual base pay rates for full-time GPs are:
GPT1/ PRRT GP registrar – $78,380.60
GPT2/PRRT2 registrar – $94,234.20
GPT3 and 4/PRRT3 and 4 GP registrar – $100,643.80
Superannuation is now plus 10% (up from plus 9.5% in 2020/21). The new rates come in from Term 2; that’s around July and August 2021, depending on your Regional Training Organisation (RTO).
Base rates only represent part of the picture. As a general practitioner, most of your earnings will come from Medicare billings.
Your income depends on whether you are in a bulk or mixed billing practice, how busy the practice is and the quality of patient care given.
The average annual salary for GPs in Australia is $350,000.
GPs with Fellowship recognised by RACGP (Royal Australian College of General Practitioners) with no restrictions can expect to earn around $150 per hour or 70% of the billings, whichever is greater.
Often in permanent roles, you’ll receive a guaranteed amount per hour (around $150) for the first three to four months. After this, you’ll receive the hourly rate or a percentage of the billings, whichever is greater.
A typical day rate is $1,200 up to $1,600 if you’ve seen more patients or done procedural work such as fitting an Implanon.
If you’re a GP with restrictions (for example, an International Medical Graduate required to work in areas of need), you can still earn as much as $150 per hour or 70% of billings, but this depends on where you are based.
Non-VR GPs earn less, around 60–65% of billings. Hourly rates are less common for non-VR GPs, but some permanent roles offer $90 – $120 per hour or a percentage of the billings (whichever is greater) for the first few months.
There are lots of ways you can earn more as a general practitioner. While working more hours and doing more procedures is the obvious way – it’s not the only one. Here’s how you can boost your GP earnings.
Do an Advanced Life Support Course. This takes two to three days and portions of it are online. With this extra qualification, some doctors earn $1800 – $2000 per day.
Go rural. GPs in urban areas like Sydney or Melbourne are typically paid less than expected than the average market rate (think: 65% of billings or $135 per hour). This is because there’s lots of competition for these roles, so clinics don’t need to make them financially attractive.
Try locuming. GPs who are flexible with dates and locations and eager to try new challenges have great earning potential with locum work. Again, rural locum work is the best-paid, but there are locum opportunities throughout Australia.
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