Bay of Plenty GPs will remain open for business with the power of technology throughout the national lockdown.
The Bay of Plenty District Health Board today announced that patient consults would continue by phone, email and video while Covid-19 Alert Levels 3 and 4 were in place.
People who were unwell and required face-to-face appointments could still get them, but many appointments will be done through technology.
The aim was to reduce the number of people physically entering general practices and triage those most in need of face-to-face care.
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People who had appointments with their GP over the next few days would be contacted to discuss whether a face-to-face appointment is needed.
"There is no suggestion that we stop seeing people altogether or that we will not see unwell patients. The aim is to reduce the number of people that have to physically enter the buildings," Fifth Avenue Medical Centre GP and co-chair of the Western Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation Dr Luke Bradford said.
• Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website
He said they needed to stress that GP surgeries were not closing down but delivering services in a different way.
Phone, email and video consultations were being rolled out by GPs across New Zealand.
"In view of the Government's suggested restrictions announced yesterday, we believe it is important to keep vulnerable patients safe by reducing the number of people in GP waiting rooms," Royal NZ College of GPs president Dr Samantha Murton said.
She said patients could be assured that continuity of care would continue.