Advice for practice staff

I am struggling, where can I go for support?

Updated 15 October 2020

All College members can access free EAP services confidentially by calling 800 327 669 (international number +64 9 353 0906). They have clinical psychologists, budget and financial advisors, legal advisors, and other professionals ready to support you. Please mention The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners when you call. View more information on the EAP website.

MPS (in partnership with MAS) offers counselling to members experiencing work-related stress, or stress that they feel could impact their practice. For more information visit the MPS website.

Are there any self-care resources I can look at?

Updated 13 November 2020

The College has compiled some resources including it's own produced self-care guide.


I am required to self-isolate, can I get some financial assistance?

Updated 15 October 2020

On 29 September 2020, the Government announced the Leave Support Scheme had been expanded to cover workers who have been told to self-isolate and cannot work from home while they are in isolation. The support has been put in place so employees and the self-employed can receive an income while they self-isolate. More information can be found here.

What do the different Alert levels look like for GPs?

Reviewed 15 October 2020

General practice needs to lead the ongoing fight against COVID-19 and demonstrate that general practice clinics are  a safe environment for patients and staff.  The College has developed guidance on Alert levels 1, 2 and 3 which you can read here.

I’m a locum or independent contractor looking for employment advice, who should I contact?

Reviewed 15 October 2020

We recommend you contact MAS at or 0800 800 627, and ask for Shaun Phelan, National Manager, or the Business Advisory Team. 

MAS is not able to provide advice specific to your circumstances or contract, but is happy to offer more general assistance.

Should I go to work if I have respiratory or influenza-like symptoms?

Reviewed 15 October 2020

General practitioners and healthcare workers with respiratory or influenza-like symptoms who are in close contact with patients (i.e. less than 2 meters distance for more than 15 minutes) should be tested for COVID-19 and other potential causes of their illness. There is guidance on the interpretation of results in the Advice For Health Professionals document.


Will there be contact tracing for staff working with COVID-19 patients? 

Reviewed 15 October 2020

The Ministry’s ‘Advice for Health Professionals’ dated 30 March says:

“The Ministry of Health has launched the National Close Contact Service (NCCS) to make initial contact with all close contacts (other than case partners or those who reside with the case) thought to have been in contact with someone who has been confirmed as having COVID-19.

“The NCCS will inform close contacts of their potential exposure, ensure they are aware of self-isolation requirements and provide them health advice. They are also checking what assistance they may require and providing contact details to obtain this. Once NCCS has made successful contact with a close contact their details will be handed over to Healthline for regular follow up through the self-quarantine period.”

For more information, please follow this link. 

How do I escalate a clinical issue or find out about a clinical protocol?

Reviewed 15 October 2020

The Ministry of Health has set up a link to log issues that need escalation or processes that need clarification (eg: protocols around rubbish collection workers and prisoners entering prison). The e-mail is

I’m a locum looking for work, who should I contact? 

Reviewed 15 October 2020

We have a designated contact at NZ Locums ( who can help you find employment opportunities at this time, or discuss any queries you may have. 

Do I have to keep working on my recertification requirements at the moment?

Reviewed 15 October 2020

MCNZ provided the following advice:"Council has decided to exempt all General and vocationally registered doctors from recertification programme requirements until 28 February 2021. Doctors with general or vocational registration who return to practice from 26 March 2020 will not be required to enrol in the Inpractice or College programme until that date. Council staff will not be auditing doctors for compliance with recertification programmes over the coming 11 months, but Council will expect doctors to be enrolled and actively participating in their required programmes from 1 March 2021."

Read more details here.