College welcomes ACT's call for more GP investment

12 May 2023

Category: Media releases


The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners is welcoming the ACT Party's announcement highlighting the urgent need for more investment in general practice.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, 95 percent of the population are enrolled with a general practice, and 90 percent of medical problems are dealt with in general practice by specialist general practitioners, rural hospital doctors, and their teams.

Dr Samantha Murton, College President says, “Our patients are at the heart of everything we do. We chose this profession so we could make a difference to the health of our communities, but the current working conditions are making that more challenging, and action needs to be taken.

"Unfortunately, it is our patients who suffer when there are fewer specialist GPs and rural hospital doctors being trained, and more leaving the profession due to burnout and retirement, as highlighted in the results from our 2022 Workforce Survey.

“It should be a right, not a privilege, to have timely, affordable access to a GP and I agree with ACT’s statement, ‘New Zealand’s health system has been on a steady decline from first world status.’ We are at a tipping point and if nothing is done, I have real fears for my patients, colleagues, and the wider workforce over the coming years.”

With the 2023 Budget announcement next week, and the election campaigning starting shortly, it is encouraging to see parties starting to inform the public and the workforce on how they would support this crucial workforce within the health system.

“Talk is good, action is better, but urgent action is required. The wider workforce and the College will be closely following announcements and speaking up if these do not turn into tangible changes that benefit the health outcomes of New Zealanders and the wellbeing of our specialist workforce,” says Dr Murton.