Winter illness advice
The Royal New Zealand College of GPs is advising people to go to their GP first if they are suffering from winter ailments, because their GP knows their conditions well and can provide ongoing, specialised care.
College President and GP Dr Tim Malloy says, “Your GP is a really important first port of call for all those winter complaints, urgent or not, and can provide personalised care for multiple ongoing conditions that worsen with winter chills, colds and flu.”
The College has come out in support of calls from Auckland DHB to go to ED only if you really need to.
“GPs are in it with you for life - they’re specialists in managing your health and will see you through the bad times as well as the better times. They know exactly when to get you to another specialist or to ED, and they can deal with a range of urgent issues,” Malloy says.
He says that many GPs keep some appointments free for same-day urgent calls, and people should ring their local practice first.
“It’s important we don’t block up emergency departments with non-urgent cases. They are for acute and urgent care only. GPs are the gateway into the health system and will refer patients to secondary care if needed.”