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GP Shortage Will Not Disappear On Its Own

Media Release

12 December 2005

GP Shortage Will Not Disappear On Its Own

Today’s report from the Royal New Zealand College of GPs expressing concern about declining GP numbers must surely result in some significant action from the Government, says New Zealand First’s health spokesperson, Barbara Stewart MP.

“The statements emanating from the Health Ministry that everything is under control, trust us, we know what we’re doing and there is no GP shortage are starting to wear a bit thin.

“People in provincial areas are already experiencing general practitioner shortages and the problem is creeping closer to the main centres with reports that there are insufficient doctors in Kapiti to treat the growing population.

“New Zealand’s population is aging and adequate GP numbers will be even more essential to keep people at work and out of hospital, said Mrs Stewart.

“Any idea of relying on nurses and nurse practitioners to take the pressure off GPs is also a non starter as there are workforce shortages in those areas as well.

“Workforce problems will not disappear while the Minister of Health and his advisors continue to ignore the facts that we have an ageing, overworked GP workforce with fewer graduates replacing them and an aging population in need of increasing levels of care.

“What is needed is some immediate action from the Minister to show that the Government is dealing with the crisis, rather than more soft-soaping from his officials,” said Mrs Stewart.


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