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New Association Means Business On Behalf Of General Practice Owners

Some hard-hitting and high profile names are behind a new association which has been established to represent front-line General Practice owner-operators and Urgent Care providers in what it describes as a direct response to the Covid-19 threat to General Practice sustainability and the previously mounting dissatisfaction across the sector.

The intent of the General Practice Owners Association, which will be known as GenPro, is already evident in today’s announcement that its interim Chair will be previous RNZCGP President, Dr Tim Malloy, and who will be supported by interim Deputy Chair, Dr Angus Chambers – an increasingly vocal critic of existing national representative arrangements for General Practice contract holders.

Echoing the sentiment of many of the country’s GPs, Dr Malloy says “We are currently facing the single most significant threat to the sustainability and viability of General Practice as well as the safety of our dedicated front-line staff . This on top of successive years of rising demand, expectations, regulation and compliance which have all come without a commensurate increase in funding or support. There is no other agency advocating at a national level with a singular focus on sustainability and viability of this country’s essential network of General Practices.”

The Association, whose Vision is Sustainable, viable and high quality General Practice for all New Zealanders, is being backed by an impressive range of General Practice and Urgent Care providers including Better Health; Coast to Coast Health Care; Green Cross Health; Omni Health; Riccarton Clinic; South Link Health and Tamaki Health.

Interim Deputy Chair, Dr Angus Chambers says “The business viability of every hard working owner-operated General Practice across New Zealand has been steadily and continuously eroded through multiple channels including under-funded annual inflation, increased compliance and regulation costs, transfer of services from secondary care without appropriate funding and, the slow removal of our ability to recover costs through patient co-payments. This cannot continue if we are to ensure the future provision of essential first contact services for our local communities.”

Membership applications are now being invited in readiness for the election of the Association’s inaugural governance Board which its website states will take place between July and September 2020.

In the meantime, GenPro has ACC and PSAAP General Practice representation firmly in its sights, which Dr Chambers states “..have not effectively represented the concerns of General Practice owners for some time now”.

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