More than 350 GPs from all over New Zealand took up the College’s invitation to send a digital postcard to the Minister of Health.
The initiative is part of the College’s GP – Heart of the Community campaign which aims to raise awareness of the pressures facing GPs and to advocate for more government support.
College President, Dr Tim Malloy, invited members to share their frustrations with the Minister directly. The responses received were heartfelt and consistent: GPs are feeling the stress of having to deliver more, with less resources. The following is just a small sample of the comments received:
“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 GP's felt more valued and appreciated by the "system" many would consider working longer.”
“Primary care funding seems to shrink in real terms on an annual basis. Patients are ageing and their medical needs are more complex. It seems that successive governments have relied on GP goodwill to keep getting the job done in the face of decreasing returns to the point where many practices are becoming marginal financially.”
“In summary: harder work, longer hours, less pay, more administration, less patient contact, unfair formula for patients in financial difficulty, older workforce, less young graduates interested in general practice.”
The College will be collating the responses, which were received from all over the country, and delivering them to the Minister in July.