The College supports the development of nationally consistent guidelines for the management of mild to moderate COVID-19 illness in the community.
If MIQ facilities reach capacity, or are not available in some areas, then there may be community cases of COVID-19 managed by general practice teams.
Experience overseas has shown that this is possible with the right support from central and local health services. It is hoped that this will not be the case in New Zealand, but it is important that the sector prepares for this eventuality.
The following are things to consider when developing such a service:
- The general practice team who knows the patient is the best placed to provide clinical support and oversight for the patient
- The pathway is applicable irrespective of location around the country
- Wrap around services are provided that support the patient in the home and the general practice team caring for them
- Basic clinical equipment is provided for monitoring
- Clinical guidance provides clarity as to the point of intervention for referral to hospital services
- Priority clinical backing is provided by hospital-based and public health unit services for the GPs who are monitoring patients remotely
- All care is funded and provided free of charge to the patient
When a national HealthPathways is finalised, we will share the link. The College will be working towards endorsing these guidelines and supporting members who may be dealing with patients who have mild to moderate COVID-19 illness.