GPs are the trusted professionals we call when good times go bad; when your cough sounds like a foghorn, when your kiddo is constipated, or when those pandemic blues keep you down too long.
GPs have also been New Zealand’s frontline defence in our fight against Covid-19, which is why the theme for World Family Doctor Day on Tuesday, 19 May is, ‘family doctors on the front line.’
The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners is celebrating their 5,500 GP members who conduct 12 million patient consults a year across 1,047 GP practices.
College President, Dr Samantha Murton says, “A GP’s relationship with their patients is at the heart of the work they do.
“GPs typically have ongoing, long term relationships with patients, providing care that extends well beyond the immediate issue at hand.
“We cover the gamut of health conditions a person faces over a lifetime and like to say we provide care ‘from the cradle to the grave’”.
Not many GPs would have expected to manage a pandemic that locked down the country in their lifetimes but they rose to the challenge, pivoted their businesses to work remotely, kept diagnosing, and kept New Zealand healthy throughout Covid-19.
“GPs have a real, ‘first in, last out’ approach and are ready to show up, listen, research, and follow up to get the best result for their patients,” says Dr Murton.
World Family Doctor Day is Tuesday, 19 May and will be celebrated by more than 500,000 GPs (family doctors) worldwide.