News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


ED Pressures Are The Result Of A Vicious Circle Faced Daily By General Practice

Latest Emergency Department pressures are the result of a vicious circle being faced on a daily basis by general practices across the country.

The General Practice Owners Association (GenPro), the national representative body for general practice and urgent care centres across New Zealand, has today commented on recent reports that some of New Zealand’s hospital emergency departments (EDs) are at capacity and under increasing pressure.

GenPro’s chair, Dr Tim Malloy

GenPro’s chair, Dr Tim Malloy, said, “Every day, we are seeing patients presenting at their general practice for essential health care because they are waiting unreasonably long periods for a specialist appointment at their local hospital, or even worse, they are one of the many patients who are now being declined a specialist hospital appointment despite one being deemed necessary by their GP. One of the impacts this has is that other patients are no longer able to get to see their GP for routine appointments without waiting days, or even weeks, to do so”.

GenPro believes that the pressure on EDs is just one of the consequences of poor whole-of-system planning and a lack of appropriate resourcing to manage growing demand from an increasing and ageing population. Over a number of years, general practices across the country have been expected to manage the care of more and more patients whose needs would have historically been met by specialist hospital services. That continuing shift of care to general practices has come without additional resources or support.

GenPro advises that if GPs continue to face such pressures and similarly cannot access essential diagnostic or specialist services for their patients, the care and health of our communities will continue to be severely compromised and the pressure on EDs will be symptomatic of what is happening across general practice as well as being indicative of how the health system is failing New Zealanders.

Dr Malloy believes that the pressure on EDs is also impacting the ability of urgent care clinics in the community to respond to patients presenting with urgent or life-threatening illnesses and injuries. “With ambulances backed-up outside ED waiting to transfer their patients, we are often having to wait hours for an ambulance for those patients presenting in primary care but needing urgent ED or hospital care. Patients are certainly being put at risk and GPs have no choice but to care for and support those patients despite not being resourced to do so”.

Describing the situation as a vicious circle, GenPro emphasises that the on-going chronic underfunding of general practice has a three-fold impact – it affects health outcomes for our communities and patients, it undermines the sustainability of our essential general practice [and urgent care] providers, and it increases pressure on our hospitals and ED departments. “This is exactly the crisis that our ED colleagues are now highlighting” says Dr Malloy.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland