AIM: To examine the general practitioner (GP) consultation patterns for primary health-care services provided in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) by consultation type. METHOD: Analyses of service provision and RACF population data for the period 1998-2011. All Medicare-subsidised services provided by GPs across Australia in RACFs were included and categorised by consultation type and by time of service delivery (business or after-hours). RESULTS: Overall service delivery increased from 12 118 per 1000 residents in financial year (FY) 1998-99 to 17 079 per 1000 residents in FY2010-11, a 41% increase. Since FY2007-08, the rate of brief consultations has grown by an average of 20% each year. Delivery of after-hours consultations also increased. CONCLUSIONS: The pattern of GP services provided in RACFs has changed substantially over time. To some extent these changes reflect regulatory adjustments; however, the pattern is at odds with the ever-increasing dependence levels of residents.