GPs here to help through latest Covid outbreak

There have been instances of abuse towards staff at local doctor's surgeries and pharmacies during the first few days of lockdown. Photo: File.

Staff at some local Papamoa medical centres and doctors’ surgeries are requesting that members of the public show respect when coming to appointments.

“There have been instances of abuse towards staff at the local doctor's surgeries and pharmacies within the first couple of days of lockdown and many people [have been] entering the practices and pharmacies without masks nor keeping their distance,” says a Papamoa medical professional, who prefers to remain anonymous.

“The frontline nurses and doctors are all locals in Papamoa, it would be very appreciated if there is anyone that has an appointment during lockdown to please follow the rules and show respect and kindness to those that are treating you.

“Please treat everyone in these surgeries and pharmacies with the respect that they deserve as they are there to help you in these current circumstances.  We are all in this together and we are all locals in this community.”

As requests for vaccinations increase, and queues at testing centres grow, The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners would like to remind the public about how their local GP can help during this period of uncertainty.

“Many general practice clinics across the country are equipped to carry out COVID-19 testing and administer vaccinations - and are currently doing so as well as carrying out routine care and urgent care,” says a RNZCGP spokesperson.

Strict precautions are in place to ensure the safety of all patients and staff. If you do need to see your GP in person for a Covid-19 or non-Covid-19 matter, it is important to call your general practice first - please don’t just turn up, wear a mask, maintain a social distance of 2m, and practise good hand hygiene.

"It doesn’t matter what alert level the country is in, GPs will continue to treat patients. An initial consultation will most likely happen via phone or video, and if you need to see us in person then you will be seen,” says the College’s Medical Director Dr Bryan Betty.

"GP clinics are well versed in administering vaccines and conducting Covid-19 swab tests and will be working hard alongside the many other providers to do what we can to prevent serious illness and death in New Zealand."

"It is also important not to put off contacting your GP for matters that are not Covid related. The health and wellbeing of patients, no matter the condition or the symptom, is our priority."

With the extent of this current outbreak not yet known, and with Delta now confirmed in New Zealand, the College is urging the public to stay vigilant, stay safe, use the NZ Covid Tracer app, and follow advice from health officials.

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