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GP shortage in Northland symptom of growing crisis in general practice

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The New Zealand Medical Association calls on the Government to deliver what it promised in the last election.

"The shortage of GPs in Northland is unacceptable and to have to resort to a petition when promises were made three years ago highlights the ongoing failure to support and invest in general practice services," says Dr Jan White, Chair of the NZMA General Practitioner Council. "Sadly, this is just one example of a nationwide issue that is only getting worse. GPs are under resourced, overworked, and many practices are struggling to make ends meet."

In 2017, the incoming government promised to increase the number of training places to 300 per year. However, to deliver on this, working in general practice must be made more attractive for doctors, nurses and the entire primary care team. These people are committed to the communities they work in and the families they care for. The incoming government also promised to review funding to ensure the financial sustainability of practices - this needs to happen now.

"The promise to make GP visits more affordable for many New Zealanders has been kept - but that is of little value if you cannot see a doctor when you need to," says Dr White.

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