Diabetes and the use of primary care provider services in rural, remote and metropolitan Australia

Soumya Mazumdar, Nasser Bagheri, Shanley Chong, Ian McRae, Bin Jalaludin, Federico Girosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: Public health agencies around the world are concerned about an ever-increasing burden of type 2 diabetes and related disability. Access to primary care providers (PCPs) can support early diagnosis and management. However, there is limited literature on how frequently older people with diabetes access PCPs, and their levels of access in rural Australia relative to metropolitan areas.
Methods: In this research, patterns of PCP use among those with diagnosed diabetes and those without diagnosed diabetes (referred to as ‘healthy’ individuals) were compared using a large survey of more than 230 000 people aged 45 years and older from New South Wales, Australia. A published model to study the PCP access patterns of a group of individuals with diabetes risk was used.
Results: Annual visits to PCPs among people aged 45 years or more with diabetes in rural areas, while higher than for healthy rural residents, were significantly lower than their metropolitan counterparts, mirroring similar disparities in PCP use across the rural–urban divide in the healthy population. Similar patterns were present in the high–risk population. Nevertheless, people with diabetes visited PCPs around four times a year, which is around the recommended number of annual visits, although some groups (eg those with comorbidities) may need more visits.
Conclusion: Patterns of PCP use among rural residents, while significantly less frequent than their metropolitan counterparts, are at the recommended level for people with diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalRural and Remote Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


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