Clinical accountability during Omicron  

Updated 10 March 2022 

Read the Primary care responsibility for positive COVID-19 tests statement from MPS.

Many practices are experiencing increased demands for healthcare services from the Omicron outbreak. During this time, it is important to continue to prioritise patients that are most at risk and provide essential services. If your clinic is unable to offer some aspects of standard care, please inform your PHO of this in writing. They will then notify the DHB to ensure the issues are identified and escalated. 

The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Right regulations applies to the provision of health and disability services during the pandemic. Providers have a duty of care to follow up significant results and this does extend to the notification of a positive COVID-19 result to primary care providers.

Complaints received by the HDC do consider the individual facts and circumstances and assess the relative risk for the patient. For example, a GP who orders a test for a high-risk patient would likely have a higher duty of care to follow up a COVID positive result than a GP who is notified of a positive test result that was initiated by a low-risk patient. Clause 3 (Provider compliance) of the Code states that a provider is not in breach if they take reasonable actions in circumstances to give effects to consumers’ rights under the Code.