The number of GPs has remained the same while our country's population is increasing. It's more difficult for patients to be seen and for GPs to keep on top of their workload.

GP – Heart of the Community

At the same time as New Zealand’s population is increasing, the number of GPs has remained static, making it more and more difficult for patients to be seen and for GPs to keep on top of their workload.

To raise awareness of these issues and garner support for existing and future GPs, the College has unveiled a new campaign: GP – Heart of the Community.

The campaign aims to attract extra funding to train new GPs and make GP visits more affordable to those most in need. It will help increase understanding of the pressures felt by GPs, provide assistance to those who need it and help patients get the most out of their GP visits.

At the campaign launch event, attended by Minister of Health Dr Jonathan Coleman and health sector representatives, Dr Malloy said 44% of GPs are older and ready to retire in the next 10 years, and we need more GPs overall.

Help us support GPs

The College has developed a campaign emblem which illustrates the role and importance of GPs.  The heart-shaped stethoscope conveys the compassion and care GPs provide. The wording reflects the importance of good health for communities, and links that to the role of the GP.

GPs and their practices are encouraged to support the campaign by incorporating the campaign emblem in their communications with patients, and the wider health sector. A range of downloadable tools have been developed for use, along with brand guidelines that explain how and where they can be positioned.

View and download our resources.

GPs share their concerns

College President Dr Tim Malloy has invited every College member write a digital postcard to the Minister of Health outlining their views on what’s happening in primary health care. In particular, we asked for thoughts on health funding and GP shortages.

There is nothing more powerful than voices from the coal-face, and we’d like to thank all members who have taken the time to share their concerns.

Here are some of the comments we took to the Minister:

"Like many of my colleagues I am approaching retirement age and I am left wondering how general practice will fare with the looming manpower shortage in the face of the impending retirement tsunami. I am sure if senior GPs felt more valued and appreciated by the "system" many would consider working longer."
"I can name dozens of patients who struggle to afford a visit to see the doctor. How can it be that they get no additional funding against their $58 medical bill, when patients who live in VLCA areas only have to pay $18? Yet there are very wealthy individuals living in VLCA areas who only have to pay $18."
"We know we can keep people out of hospital and mental health facilities with good primary care provision but we cannot afford to employ enough doctors to meet the needs of our population as our income does not keep pace with our expenses. As a result people are going to the emergency department because they cannot get a timely appointment with their GP. This is crazy."

Campaign timeline

28 August 2017

The Labour party announces a comprehensive funding package for general practice which the College says holds promise.

21 August 2017

The National party announce plans to expand access to affordable GP visits which the College welcomes.

28 July 2017

The Minister of Health spoke at the Conference for General Practice, saying he'd read all the postcards and passed them on to the Prime Minister.

26 July 2017

Dr Tim Malloy and Helen Morgan-Banda delivered postcards from over 350 GPs to the Minister of Health, with members voicing concerns about the looming GP shortage and inequities in the current funding system.

Campaign timeline continued

7 June 2017

The General Practice Leaders Forum, jointly led by the College, held a political panel at its Primary Health Care Summit, featuring the Greens, Labour, NZ First and National.

11 May 2017

Dr Tim Malloy spoke at Labour's Primary Care Summit, sharing his concerns about the chronic shortage of GPs and the inequity of access to GPs for high-needs patients.

30 November 2016

We launched our campaign with an event attended by the Minister and primary health care representatives, sharing the results of our 2016 Workforce Survey and acknowledging the work of our 4,500 members.