No place for anti-vax clinicians in primary care


No place for anti-vax clinicians in primary care

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General Practice New Zealand (GPNZ) has advised its primary health organisation (PHO) members that they should report ‘anti-vax’ doctors to the New Zealand Medical Council, as a major push to maximise uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine gets underway.

Chair of GPNZ and Karori GP, Dr Jeff Lowe said: ‘GPNZ wholly endorses COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible people. We will continue to do everything possible to support our member PHOs, the general practices they support, and all our colleagues across the health system to promote vaccine uptake.

‘Without high levels of vaccination our health system will be overwhelmed. People will die, not just from COVID-19, but from other conditions that go untreated because of the number of people with the virus. It is the duty of health providers to protect our population.’

In a communication to PHO CEOs, Dr Lowe said that ‘we advise our member PHOs that you should notify the relevant professional regulatory body of any circumstances where clinicians in their networks seek to undermine vaccination efforts or promote “anti-vax” information.’

GPNZ endorses the Government’s ‘Super Saturday’ campaign, and PHOs will be supporting practices to open this Saturday to offer vaccines and vaccine information in their local communities.

Dr Lowe said: ‘We fully support every initiative that will maximise vaccination uptake to protect our people AND our health services. The majority of cases in the future are likely to be managed in primary care and high vaccine rates will avoid general practice – which is already under pressure - from being overwhelmed.’

He added: ‘There are many tailored and targeted initiatives that are opening up access to the vaccine to people who may otherwise wait or be hesitant. We need to reach those people as quickly as possible, and PHOs and practices are working in partnership with other providers and community leaders to make that happen.’