Medical clinic facilities and doctor characteristics: What older rural men value

Fiona Joy Newton, Michael Thomas Ewing, Susan Burney, Dianne Anne Vella-Brodrick

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To identify the medical clinic facilities and doctor characteristics deemed important to older men living in a rural area of Australia. Design: Cross-sectional study using a self-report questionnaire. Setting: Mildura Rural City Council, located in north-west Victoria. Participants: Eighty-two men aged 55 + years living in the precincts of the Mildura Rural City Council with the capability to read and write in English. Main outcome measures: Factors perceived as important characteristics of medical facilities and GPs. Results: Between high- and lower-income-status participants, the provision of bulk-billing services was a significant predictor of clinic features deemed essential. Approximately 70 of participants wanted a GP who conveys information in an understandable manner and allows them time to ask questions and to discuss their problems. Participants perceived GP qualifications as more important than gender or nationality. Conclusions: The findings highlight the need for medical training institutions to ensure that medical graduates have well-developed communication skills. Older men on low incomes are particularly concerned about the provision of bulk-billing services. Any further reduction to the number of these services has the potential to further limit patient choice of GP and might have significant implications for general well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41 - 45
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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