Primary care physicians have written an open letter to the health minister calling for immediate action to modify frontline family physician services.
This is part of a campaign by the General Practice Owners Association (GenPro), whose members are over 400 general practice and emergency care providers, to address staffing and funding shortages.
Dr. Tim Malloy, chairman of GenPro, said critical family physician services were at risk due to lack of funding, labor shortages and increased demand.
It has put pressure on the rest of the health care system and has had a direct impact on patient health, he said.
Dr Malloy said in a statement: “In many parts of New Zealand, this means waiting weeks to see your family doctor. , because we are downsizing our services,” he said.
The campaign will include a bulletin board and a report called “On The Brink,” outlining a nine-point plan to better support GP services.
People are also asked to send postcards and sign petitions to ministers.
Malloy said the 3% increase in funding in July, when inflation topped 7% and the cost of living rose, was a big blow to common practice.
Malloy said it amounted to a “substantial funding cut” on July 1.
“Our essential local nurses and doctors have been underrepresented and underrepresented. They have had enough and face an unprecedented outflow from services, putting patients at risk I am exposed.”
General practice suffers from a historical underfunding, and doctors and nurses are now reluctant to work there, preferring to work in public hospitals or Australia, where they would be better paid, he said.
Malloy said the government had invested billions in health care bureaucracy, but had lost focus on critical frontline services.
An open letter to Health Secretary Andrew Little described general practice services as “stretched and under threat”.
It called for immediate action by the government to address the crisis and work to develop clear plans for the future of family medicine services.
A 2020 survey found that 58% of GPs plan to retire within the next 10 years. Dr. Malloy said he was very concerned that there were no plans to replace GP.
“If you don’t invest in supporting both the workforce and the resources for that service, you’ll be paying elsewhere,” he said. morning reportThe reality is that we have already paid the price in our presentation to the ED and the pressure on our hospital services is overwhelming our professional services. ”
Australia had more GPs per population, and more resources were offered because “it would be a very attractive career option elsewhere”.
General practitioner nurses are paid an average of $8,000 less per year than public hospital nurses, and bringing them to the same level would be a “very good start.”
Covid-19 has exposed inadequacies, but the current culprits are the burden of disease, an aging workforce and previously not training enough people.
The general manager of the Three Rivers Medical Center in Gisborne, which has registered nearly 20,000 patients, half of whom are Maori, said doctors were treating vulnerable people “by the smell of oily rags.” He said that being forced to provide was unacceptable.
Michelle Te Kira said challenges are due to lack of funding and gaps in the general practice model.
“The methodology used to allocate funds is flawed and confusing, presenting more complex patient needs that cannot be addressed by the 15-minute appointment model,” she said in a statement. rice field.
Ensuring adequate funding and an adequate number of primary care physicians is critical to being able to provide adequate safe services and quality primary care, she said.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/479163/gps-write-open-letter-to-health-minister-seeking-urgent-fix-for-family-doctor-services Primary care physician writes open letter to health minister calling for urgent modification of primary care services