The following position statement was developed by the College in association with General Practice Leaders’ Forum members NZMA and GPNZ:
As the frontline of health in NZ, we can all take comfort from the early successes of the fight against COVID, and the critical role that we in General Practice have played in this outcome.
So as restrictions on all New Zealanders’ lives continue to loosen in the coming weeks and months, it will be contingent on us to continue to demonstrate leadership regarding the health of our patients, and ourselves. As such, we need to maintain physical distancing procedures that are currently within our surgeries.
In particular, patients with symptoms suggestive of respiratory infection must continue to be separated from non-respiratory patients within the practice. All patients in waiting rooms must be enabled to maintain the Ministry of Health’s recommended separation distances.
COVID will remain a possibility in the community and, until a vaccine is developed and readily available, physical distancing is still the mainstay for controlling COVID. We expect this will continue throughout the winter.
Practices have demonstrated that they can effectively adapt to the changes necessary for delivery of safe care to patients. It will be essential that we continue to provide the environment and the assurance to patients and our staff that our practices are safe for them and their families.