As New Zealand begins another stint in Alert Level 4, The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners would like to remind the public that general practice clinics are still open for business, and say, ‘your health is important to us’.
To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community, and while we are investigating the extent of the outbreak there will be some changes to the way general practitioners will be ‘seeing’ patients.
Patients will be able to have their consultations remotely, via phone or video. Patients who need an in-person appointment will still be able to have one, but there will always be a phone consultation first.
If you do need to visit your GP clinic, it is important to follow all necessary safety precautions:
- Call first - don't just turn up
- Wear a mask
- Maintain a social distance of 2m
- Practice good hand hygiene
Dr Samantha Murton (pictured right), College President says, "GPs have been prepared for the possibility of another change to alert levels. We’ve been through a Level 4 lockdown before, and we know what we need to do to keep providing a high level of care to our communities.
"We are taking all the necessary precautions in order to keep patients and ourselves safe. Patients can be confident that if they are seen in person at the practice, it will be in a safe environment."
Each general practice will have their own systems and processes in place that work for their individual needs, and like last time, they will be contacting patients with appointments to explain how their practice will work during this time.