Recruiting a GP but not sure about common terminologies like DWS, FSE, RA, FWE, SA2 etc..

Medical practices and overseas trained doctors come across various abbreviations in day to day practices. For example, an OTD might hear from a practice that we are are located in so and so SA2 and therefore we can not recruit overseas trained doctor etc.. It can be really confusing to understand and interpret some of the information if you are not sure about meaning of these common terminologies.. Here is some brief explanation of various common terms that are used while recruiting a general practitioner in Australia.

General Practitioner (GP)

GP is based on Derived Major Specialty (DMS) which is derived based on doctor’s qualifications (relevant registered specialties) and their service pattern.Each doctor is allocated one DMS for a reference period.

GP Headcount

GP headcount is a count of all GPs who have provided at least one Medicare Service during the reference period and who have had at least one claim for Medicare Service processed during the reference period. Note that the headcount figure includes medical practitioners who provide only small numbers of services through Medicare each year.Headcount will differ slightly from those provided in previous releases due to DMS methodology changes.

FSE (Full-Time Service Equivalent)

FSE is an estimated measure of medical workforce based on Medicare claims information. Although Medicare claims data does not include information on hours worked it does have sufficient time-based items to estimate a proxy for hours worked. The FSE methodology models total hours worked for each practitioner based on the number of days worked, volume of services, and schedule fees. One FSE is approximately equivalent to a workload of 7.5 hours per day, five days per week. The FSE for each practitioner is capped at 2.5.

Vocationally Registered General Practitioner (VRGP)

The Government introduced vocational recognition in 1989 to recognise general practice as a discipline in its own right. Also it was to acknowledge that training and ongoing education specific to general practice are important elements of maintaining high quality standards in general practice.

Remoteness Area (RA)

RA is determined by service providers’ practice location.The Remoteness Structure of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) divides each state and territory into several regions on the basis of their relative access to services. Detailed information on the structure and delimitation of RAs is available from ABS catalogue 1270.55.005 Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 5 – Remoteness Structure Australia July 2011.

District of Workforce Shortage (DWS)

A district of workforce shortage (DWS) is a geographical area in which the local population has less access to Medicare-subsidised medical services when compared to the national average.More information about District of Workforce Shortage Jobs

Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2)

The SA2 is the lowest level of the ASGS structure for which Estimated Resident Population (ERP), Health and Vitals and other non-Census ABS data are generally available.

Full-time equivalence (FTE)

FTE is a measure of the amount of time an individual works.Consider a medical practice where a full-time GP is required to work 40 hours a week. A GP working 40 hours has an FTE of 1.0. If a GP in the same practice works 20 hours a week, then they have an FTE of 0.5. If this practice has 10 GPs all working fulltime, then the organisation has an FTE of 10. If the 10 GPS worked 20 hours a week, then the organisation FTE is 5.

Full-time Workload Equivalent (FWE)

FWE is a standardised measure used to estimate the workforce activity of GPs and adjusts for the partial contribution of casual and part-time doctors. FWE is calculated by dividing each doctor’s Medicare billing by the avarage billing of full-time doctors for the year.

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