In Australia, GPs (general practitioners) are doctors who have completed specialist medical training after their university medical degree. This training usually takes another three years. GPs know how to promote general health and treat many different health problems across all age groups.
Your GP is your first important point of medical contact if you think you might be pregnant.
Your midwife and GP are important partners in your overall medical and pregnancy care. They will arrange tests, check your health, ask you about any previous pregnancies and your medical history and discuss your pregnancy care with you.
Your GP won't usually attend your baby’s birth.
Some private midwives in rural areas work in partnership with local GPs. In these cases, sometimes the GP might attend your birth.
You need to see your GP six weeks after the birth. At the six-week visit, the GP checks your physical and emotional health, including recovery from birth. The GP checks your baby’s health too.
Your GP will also talk with you about breastfeeding, contraception, sexual health and urinary problems, as well as any other concerns you have.
For your general care, it’s good to find a GP you feel comfortable with, so that you can get to know each other and talk openly. A GP who knows you can help you make good choices about your care.
Some GPs bulk bill. If they don’t, you pay the difference between their fee and the Medicare rebate.