Time to front-up with financial support for primary health workers in COVID-19 ‘firing line’


Time to front-up with financial support for primary health workers in COVID-19 ‘firing line’

Primary Health Alliance chair Angus Chambers
I also want to make the point if I die on the job from this ACC won’t cover me. If my staff get this and go home sick they won’t cover me. It’s


Absolutely Angus! Sadly however the deeply fixed resentment that seems to increase with every term of politicians, bureaucrats and health managers will see us given yet another lashing of contempt rather than deserved praise and compensation. The farcical Simpson report will be yet more tangible proof of this and the abyss of disconnect with the sector. 

I've just found a formidable document online - The New Zealand Influenza Pandemic Plan. It is 181 pages long. I doubt I'll have the time or patience to read it. A quick scan does not reveal any obvious plan for funding the front line. It is evident from the document that the Government, via it's various agencies, has a responsibility to fund and support planning and action. We are already seeing significant monies poured into supporting the citizens of NZ during this Level 4 Lockdown. Please do not forget the immediate and future viability of the primary care workforce. We are putting ourselves on the line, and at the moment doing this without great regard to the costs of it all. Recognition, communication and support (money!) is needed. We should not be carrying the financial can here. 

Unbelievable that it looks like the Government thinks GPs should join the line behind hairdressers and bookbinders at the soup kitchen, but also be the front line in a response that will kill a number of us.

It is illegal to run a business if it is insolvent. I think currently out business is just that.


$15 million divided by 3500 GPs = $4000 a GP. My income is currently down ~ $500-$1000 per day. I am still working fulltime.

Best case scenario is that the proposed DHB payment will compensate me for less than 2 weeks.

I have to run a business with 16 staff. All overheads come out before I will draw a salary. 

I will be paying to be exposed to Covid 19, soon to be on a daily basis. DHB staff will not be effected. Is this all a bad dream?

We should be taking the same pay cuts as every DHB and heavens forbid PHO staff member!

Instead we are expected to fund frontline high risk primary care out of our mortgages now! This beggars belief. Why does this Government hate General Practice so much, what have we done to be treated like this?

The highest mortality in Italy has been among their GPs and the Government is making us pay for the pleasure! FFS!!!