New Zealand: Community hospital GP practice

nzrgpn14-logoThe New Zealand Rural General Practice Network held their annual conference last weekend.

They’ve helpfully recorded a series of video interviews with their speakers and leaders, and these are available here.

In this video, Carol Atmore explains what has been happening in New Zealand to develop better support and recognition for GPs who provide community hospital services.

This is a big issue.  In the UK, GP work in community hospitals remains unrecognised as a specific skill, and remains under threat from ever-more specialist approaches.  Development of strict competency frameworks – which are simply impossible for generalists to adhere to – threaten to trim the edges off the spectrum of generalist investigation possible in rural community hospitals.  For example, to be deemed ‘competent’ in ultrasonography now demands time and case turnover that simply cannot be achieved by a rural GP who has multiple other generalist skills to maintain.

Rural-proofing national competency frameworks is essential to allow rural patients to access key investigations and procedures, as well as to ensure the necessary support to avoid professional isolation and maintain safe practice.  This video from Dr Atmore offers suggestions and examples of where some of these challenges have been overcome in New Zealand.

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