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A Special Day To Consider The Future Sustainability Of Family Doctor Services

As the world is celebrating Family Doctor Day, the Association which represents General Practice owners in New Zealand, GenPro, is calling for a collaborative debate about the future sustainability of family doctor services to ensure they are able to continue serving future generations of New Zealanders.

Today is World Family Doctor Day. A day when Family Doctors worldwide are celebrated for their hard work, professionalism and commitment to their local communities. According to Dr Angus Chambers (pictured), Christchurch GP and interim deputy chair of GenPro, it is also a day to reflect on New Zealand’s successful coronavirus response and start a meaningful dialogue to address the sustainability and viability challenges which General Practice owners have increasingly faced over recent years, “The response of New Zealand’s General Practices during the COVID-19 pandemic has simply been outstanding. It has been a major factor in keeping our communities predominantly safe from this life threatening virus and it has been possibly the single main reason why our hospitals have not faced the avalanche of seriously ill and dying patients seen in many other countries.

“But, that has come at a cost to hundreds of privately run and owner-operated General Practices in New Zealand that were already struggling to maintain services following years of diminishing funding and increasing demands from a health system that is increasingly focused on transferring responsibility for services from hospitals to local community-based General Practice teams” Dr Chambers said.

In line with its Vision of Sustainable, viable and high quality General Practice for all New Zealanders, GenPro is hoping for a collaborative approach with the Ministry of Health, District Health Boards and sector partners to develop a sustainable financial framework for the future of General Practice using co-design principles to ensure World Family Doctor Day can continue to celebrate the significant contribution of General Practices as part of their local communities for years to come.

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