Prime Minister’s Comments On Primary Care Concern New Zealand Medical Association

30 March 2021

The New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) has today expressed concerns to the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in response to her comments on the AM Show regarding the current crisis in Emergency Departments, and Primary Care’s contribution to their situation.

“The current crisis in our Emergency Departments is but a visible manifestation of a health system in distress, and the Prime Minister’s comments yesterday suggest that General Practice is failing to treat people properly in the community” said Dr Kate Baddock, NZMA Chair.

“This is simply untrue. The failing rests with the Government.

“General Practice is the cornerstone of primary care and this is where the solutions lie, not the blame,” said Dr Baddock.

“Despite pre-election promises, the Government has failed to provide meaningful support to General Practice to ensure sustainability of these services, and support and grow the workforce to meet increasing demand and complexity of care in the community.”

Primary care makes the largest contribution to the health of New Zealanders, but Dr Baddock says “we have seen little action to enhance or even sustain this contribution. The forthcoming health system reforms are an opportunity to recognise and invest in primary care and redress the marginalisation of General Practice that currently exists.

“These challenges cannot be addressed without support from the government, and we hope going forward the support and investment we have been promised are delivered, and the contribution primary care makes toward the health of New Zealanders is recognised”

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For further information please contact:

Madeleine Boles de Boer, NZMA Acting Communications Manager