Demographic trends suggest that the sustainability of the general practitioner (GP)
Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) workforce, worldwide and in Australia, is under
threat, compromising the ongoing care of chronically ill RACF residents. It is therefore
important to ascertain current GP attitudes towards this work, to better understand
and hypothesise means of reversing this trend. To this end, during 2014 the
views of 26 GPs and GP Registrars working in rural and regional New South Wales,
Australia, were captured during focus group discussions and one-on-
Analysis of the qualitative date revealed that GP attitudes towards RACF visiting fell
into five key themes: pleasure, duty, remuneration and logistics, hesitation, and frustration.
The data also revealed that the overriding emotion GPs felt about RACF visitation
was frustration with the avoidable delays and inefficiencies associated with
the work. Despite the pleasure GPs derived from their work in RACFs and their sense
of obligation to be involved, their hesitation and frustration was compounded by the
work’s perceived poor remuneration. This research suggests that the barriers to GP
participation in RACF visiting were managerial rather than attitudinal, and that a strategic
focus upon improving administrative and logistical support is needed.