One in seven people living in Perth's northern suburbs have put off seeing a GP because of the cost - the highest rate among similar regions in Australia.
National Health Performance Authority figures show 14 per cent of people living in the local government areas of Wanneroo, Joondalup and most of Stirling blamed cost for delaying a visit to the doctor in the previous 12 months.
It is the first report of its kind which compares access to GPs across 61 Medicare locals - the Federal Government's primary healthcare units - based on the experiences of almost 27,000 patients.
People living in the northern suburbs were also more likely to have trouble getting in to see a GP, with 16 per cent saying they waited too long for an appointment compared with an average 13 per cent in similar areas around the country.
But it was those living in Perth's southern suburbs who had some of the biggest concerns about getting a GP appointment, with 19 per cent of people in the local government areas of Fremantle, Melville, Cockburn and East Fremantle saying they waited too long.
Further south, one in five in the local government areas of Rockingham, Kwinana, Mandurah, Murray and Waroona reported difficulty getting an appointment.
But West Australians were among those most likely to rate their health as excellent or very good.
The NHPA was set up last year to act as an independent body to report on the performance of hospitals and other healthcare organisations, as agreed by the Council of Australian Governments.
Health Minister Tanya Plibersek said the report showed the importance of Medicare locals and that access to primary health care varied significantly from place to place and more improvement was needed.
Australian Medical Association WA president Richard Choong said the report confirmed what his group had been saying for years about the lack of GPs in WA.
"We know that in the metropolitan area alone we need 300 full-time equivalents to meet the demand but unfortunately GPs don't grow on trees and it takes time to build up the numbers," Dr Choong said."What's encouraging is that general practice is very popular at the moment and the training places are being heavily subscribed, but in the meantime there is still pressure at clinics for people to get appointments."
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