Home' GP Pulse : GP Pulse March 2017 Contents College News
P4 : ISSUE 60 : March 2017
GP – Heart of the Community
You will recall that late last year the College
launched a new campaign ‘GP – Heart of the
Community’ which aims to pull together all the work
we’re doing for our members into one simple, easy
to remember slogan. In fact, the work going on
behind the scenes is far from simple, and we thought
it was timely to update members on the campaign
goals and how we’re tracking towards these.
We have three high level goals: more
government funding for GP training, more
equitable access to GPs for patients (tūroro)
and more support for members. Much of the
work done in recent weeks has been focused
on gaining media attention on the looming
GP shortage and current, inequitable health
In doing in this, we will capture the attention
of decision makers and influencers, and can,
hopefully, influence future policy decisions.
Timing is important, and while there has been
a focus on the May budget announcement,
we are also very mindful of the opportunity
presented by September’s general election.
We were pleased to have the opportunity to
talk directly with the Minister of Health late
last month. During this meeting, held at the
Minister’s Northcote electorate office, College
President Dr Tim Malloy very clearly laid out
the College’s position on the urgent need to
train more GPs and to find a solution to the
inequities arising from Very Low Cost Access
funding. The Minister acknowledged these
issues and the need for “new money”, but
didn’t provide any specific solutions.
Only time will tell if the government is able
to contribute or redistribute more taxpayer
funds towards primary health care. In the
meantime, we continue our work garnering
support from affected interest groups.
As well as seeking media opportunities, we’ve
been engaging with groups like NZ Rural
Women’s Network, Consumer NZ and Age
Concern, encouraging them to help us spread
our messages. As Dr Malloy said in a recent
Radio New Zealand interview (see side bar)
“ We’ve been telling anyone who would listen”.
We will continue this work by contacting
budget advisory services, iwi groups and social
organisations like the Salvation Army, who will
be able to help us by explaining in their own
words the consequences of fewer GPs and
inequitable health (hauora) funding.
Through our workforce analysis we have
identified the regions that are being hit
hardest by the GP shortage. We are targeting
media and local leaders in those areas, asking
them to support our campaign by publicly
supporting our cause. Finding local GPs and
patients willing to share their experiences,
makes the situation more compelling and
memorable. This will also help influence
government leaders and those in power.
In the coming months we’ll be talking to both
patients and members using social media to
collect and share their views. We have around
1,200 Facebook followers and we plan to set
up another Facebook page where we can
share information with patients and their
family members (whānau).
In terms of membership benefit, the
resources we published last year (GP
Self Care guide, Practice Ownership and
Greening General Practice) will soon be
joined by a new resource: On Call, Offsite,
and Afterhours Safety and some guidance on
the use of patient portals for children. We
are also very pleased to have launched our
refreshed Māori Strategy earlier this month.
This lays out the College’s goals for improving
health equity for Māori, including how we
plan to recruit more Māori GPs.
This strategy, and all our member resources,
are available on the College website.
We are seeking member support for the
campaign. We want to hear your side of
the story and we hope you’ll help us share
this information far and wide. We warmly
encourage you to download and display our
campaign poster and web banner. The more
solidarity we show, the stronger our messages
Amplifying your concerns
We know many of our members are
working harder and longer, trying hard to
keep up with increasing patient demands,
the government’s push for health services
to be provided in the community, and
ever increasing service delivery costs.
We’ve been highlighting the need for
more primary health care funding in the
media. If you haven’t already, you may like
to see what we’ve been saying:
Radio New Zealand Insight
documentary into GP funding crisis
(aired Sunday 5 March 2017).
NZ Doctor article on VLCA
(published 3 March 2017).
Dominion Post front page article
on GP burnout (published 1 March 2017).
Links Archive GP Pulse February 2017 GP Pulse April-May 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page