On Wednesday 26 July, College President Tim Malloy and Chief Executive Helen Morgan-Banda delivered GPs’ postcard messages to the Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman.
More than 350 GPs voiced their concerns about the looming GP shortage and inequities in the current funding system. Their comments were collated and given to the Minister during a one hour meeting held in his Beehive office.
During the meeting Dr Malloy explained the purpose of the postcard campaign and outlined members’ observations and stress points. It was a frank conversation, with Dr Malloy conveying the urgent need for action. The meeting concluded with both parties agreeing to work together and a joint statement being issued (see below).
Two days later, during his address at the College’s annual conference, the Minister confirmed that he had passed the postcard comments to the Prime Minister for his consideration.
Let’s hear from patients
Now that we’ve heard from GPs, the College is keen to hear from patients.
We’ve just launched a new Facebook page called ‘The Patient’s Voice’ which we hope will be a place patients can share their views about how they’re affected by VLCA and the GP shortage. Please encourage your patients to have a look and share their comments if they feel so inclined.
Members might like to download a poster for their waiting rooms, which encourages patients to get involved.
Joint statement from Dr Malloy and Dr Coleman
GPs from across the country have raised their concerns about issues, in particular workforce numbers and the funding model. These are matters the Government takes seriously. The postcards delivered today also highlighted the passion and dedication of this workforce.
The meeting today was positive and concluded with an agreed focus on working constructively together to forge a clear path for the future. We are keen to progress solutions. More GPs are being trained, but more are needed. There also needs to be new models of care supported by IT innovation.
Importantly, as GPs we both agree that it is a fantastic career and the positives need to highlighted. We want to encourage the next generation of general practitioners to take up this calling and help to continue to provide outstanding healthcare for New Zealanders.