We need you!

28 July 2020

This August we will be launching our 2020 Workforce Survey and we’re inviting all College members to take part.

This survey is a critically important resource for the College and we strongly encourage every member to participate. The data collected gives us an accurate, up-to-date snapshot of the GP workforce in New Zealand. 

As Chief Executive Lynne Hayman (pictured left) explains, no other organisation collects this information on a national basis, so it is highly sought after and valuable. 

“The last survey was run in 2018 and we used the information gathered to raise public awareness about the shortage of GPs across the country and the number of GPs intending to retire,” says Lynne. 

“The statistics were compelling and helped the College put a successful business case to the Health Workforce Directorate and the Director-General for additional funding for GP registrar training,” she says.

“This will be the sixth survey we’ve undertaken since 2014 and it has been enlightening, but worrying, to observe the trends in GP hours available to the New Zealand public. We’ve found previously that many GPs have roles outside of general practice and, coupled with an ageing workforce, we can see risks around our ability to continue to provide care – particularly in smaller towns and centres.

“The data helps us identify pressure points in the workforce and sets the direction of our future advocacy work. On the back of previous survey results we have run postcard campaigns to the then Minister of Health, met with mayors and DHB CEOs in hard-to-resource towns, and generated far-reaching media coverage of the state of our workforce. 

“This research is widely referenced and is an extremely important tool in our advocacy toolkit.”

You may remember the GP – Heart of the Community campaign run in 2017-2018 which encouraged the Minister of Health and government officials to increase funding for our GP training programme. Our submission to the Health and Disability System Review panel is a more recent example of how we’ve used our workforce data 

More than 3,000 GPs took part in the 2018 Workforce Survey – a record 61 percent response rate, but Lynne says she hopes to get even more members involved this year.

“As a membership organisation, we’re charged with representing members’ views and providing a reliable picture of their circumstances. To deliver the best results for our members, we need their buy-in and participation,” she says.

“The last survey was run in 2018 and we used the information gathered to raise public awareness about the shortage of GPs across the country and the number of GPs intending to retire”

“I’m hopeful members will see this survey as their chance to have their say and provide us with the evidence we need to advocate on their behalf.

“The College has built a strong reputation amongst health leaders and the media during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our feedback is sought after and valued. As we look to the future, and how the Health and Disability System Review recommendations might be implemented, we need to be in a position to respond with authority and accuracy about how GPs and general practice services will be delivered in the future. The data we collect in the 2020 Workforce Survey will certainly be a core part of informing our response to the Review.”

The survey is scheduled to run during August  and all College members will be sent an email invitation to participate. We hope you see the time you spend completing the survey as an investment in your College, your profession and your colleagues - past, present and future.

Timeline of activities