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Statement highlights concerns facing rural GPs

Statement highlights concerns facing rural GPs

New Zealand Rural General Practice Network Chair Dr Tim Malloy today described The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners ‘Value of General Practice: 2005’ as a timely document that is extremely relevant to working in rural general practice.

Dr Malloy says GPs work rurally because the clinical work is interesting and varied and practitioners have a deep sense of commitment to the communities they serve.

“Unfortunately rural workforce research highlights high GP turnover, with many working in isolation and/or unacceptably long hours, high levels of stress, an increasingly older average age of rural GPs and a lack of young GPs interested in working in rural general practices.

“The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network is trying to reverse that trend by promoting the benefits of a rural lifestyle, offering support and advocacy on behalf of rural GPs and providing assistance to medical students who are seeking rural careers. However, unless the principles of this statement are incorporated into policy, rural GPs will continue to, and increasingly, be taken for granted.

“The value of this statement is that it quite rightly identifies many of the concerns facing rural general practice and tables them in such a way that decision makers will have no choice but to take notice. It is essential that there is a collective approach incorporating policy to overcome the burden that many of our members are facing.”

END

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