COVID-19 – GPs are still open for business

GPs are working differently to try and reduce the spread of COVID-19. This means they are doing non-urgent appointments by text, email, phone or video. However, if you need to see your GP in person, you still can do that safely.

Key points 

  1. GPS are still ‘open for business’. This means you can still get the medical advice you need. 
  2. Your GP may consult with you using some form of telehealth, such as calling you on the phone, sending you a text or email or using a video call. You will still get the same level of expert medical advice as you would if you were in their practice in person. 
  3. In some cases, your GP will still need to see you in person. If you need to come into their practice, they will care for you safely and protect you from the risk of catching COVID-19. 
  4. You won’t be bothering your GP during this time with your health issues – they are still there for you even if your health needs are not related to COVID-19.


Are GPs still open during the COVID-19 crisis?

Yes, they are. If you need an in-person GP appointment, you can still get one. However, non-urgent, routine appointments will be done via telehealth options if possible.

Will I still have to pay for my appointment if it is by a different method than usual?

Your appointment will be treated the same as if you were in the clinic so normal charges will apply. Chat to your usual GP clinic if you’re not sure about costs.

Can I call my GP anytime?

No, you’ll need to make an appointment just like normal. Call your usual GP clinic or use your patient portal to set that up.

How can I get a prescription?

If you need medicine prescribed, then your GP will tell you that during your appointment and can send your prescription straight to the pharmacy that best suits you. You can let them know during the appointment where that is.

Can I still get my flu jab?

Yes, you can – call your GP clinic as normal and they’ll let you know how this will happen. You might need to stay in your car and have the flu jab there or the practice may use a different area of the practice or a local building.

If I use telehealth, how will my GP take my blood pressure?

Your GP clinic will talk to you over the phone about how this will work. Visits in person will still be needed for some health issues and these will be arranged for you.

Can I just turn up at my local medical centre to get seen?

No. You need to call first so that the clinic can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep everyone safe and healthy.

I’m over 70 and not allowed to leave home – how can I see my GP?

Call them first and then if they need to see you at the clinic, come in. GPs care deeply about looking after your health and have the most up to date information from the Ministry of Health. Your GP will make sure you are safe when you visit them.

What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?

Your first call should be to the Healthline COVID-19 number on 0800 358 5453. Do not visit your GP unannounced – you need to alert them first and they will tell you what to do.

Reference

GPS are open for business Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners, 2020