Briefing to the Minister of Health
The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners looks forward to working with the new Minister of Health, Hon Dr David Clark MP, during the coming years. The purpose of this paper is to brief the incoming Minister on the role of the College, and current issues facing general practice and primary care in New Zealand. The briefing notes the policies announced by the Labour Party, and describes how the College can help implement these policies.
The four main priorities outlined by this briefing are:
The general practitioner workforce
New Zealand is facing a GP shortage, with the number of full time equivalent GPs per 100,000 population dropping from 84 in 1999 to 75 in 2015.
Last year 29 percent of New Zealand adults and 24 percent of children reported one or more instances of unmet need in primary health care. Māori and Pasifika were more likely to have unmet needs than the rest of the population.
Changing models of care
Workforce and resource limitations have forced GPs to work in different ways. Disruptive technology is having a significant impact on the way GPs practise.
Underpinning all of these priorities is the need for adequate and sustainable funding.