Thursday, 02 April 2020 13:08

COVID-19: Virus hits rural medical practices

Written by  David Anderson
Dalton Kelly. Dalton Kelly.

Questions are being raised about the level of medical care rural New Zealanders can access under COVID-19 alert level 4 restrictions.

The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network says it is concerned that the COVID-19 outbreak will have a serious impact on rural New Zealanders ability to get the medical care they need compared to people who live in urban centres.  

The NZRGPN says it is working closely with rural healthcare practices to make sure they have the staff and resources they need to care for their patients. 

Chief executive, Dalton Kelly, says there is already have a fabulous pool of medical staff who are ready and able to help out across rural areas if things get worse. 

Kelly says the network is also receiving offers of help from urban healthcare professionals whose main jobs have slowed right down as surgical procedures are cancelled and number of patient consultations in practices have significantly reduced. 

“Many of New Zealand’s rural practices rely on a very small number of healthcare professionals and that number is dropping every year. Helping rural practices access the skills and expertise of urban doctors, nurses and practice managers will help ensure our rural communities and general practices get through this pandemic in good shape.”

Kelly says he’s aware of rural health professionals catching COVID-19 and that is having a significant impact on a region’s healthcare service.

“This morning I have emailed every rural general practice in New Zealand inviting them to let us know if they need additional staff to get through this time,” Kelly says. 

“We are in a fortunate position that we have a fantastic pool of highly-skilled healthcare professionals well and truly prepared to travel and support our rural communities during this period. We are also in discussion with the Ministry of Health seeking further financial support to reduce the extra costs for rural practices”

Any rural or provincial practices needing additional healthcare resources, or urban healthcare professionals seeking a rural posting, should contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0800 695 628.

More like this

China demands, NZ delivers

Meat Industry Association chair John Loughlin says China is one of the most demanding export markets in the world.

Bull sales continue in lockdowns

A hybrid auction platform launched during last year's Covid lockdown is allowing beef and dairy bull sales across the North Island to continue.

Benefits of shovel ready projects

OPINION: As I write, our nation has returned to lockdowns and it has given me time to reflect on all we have accomplished in the year since the Covid-19 pandemic hit this country hard.

Alliance Group's online sales surge

Online sales via Alliance Group’s online red meat delivery channel puresouthshop.com have grown significantly during the Covid-19 alert level restrictions.

National

Labour pains hurt grower

Despite struggling to find workers, fresh produce grower and trader T&G is still forging ahead with growth plans.

China demands, NZ delivers

Meat Industry Association chair John Loughlin says China is one of the most demanding export markets in the world.

Leaving on a jet plane - again!

Damien O'Connor is planning to head back to Europe again shortly to breathe oxygen into the free trade agreements that…

Machinery & Products

Helps tame the wind!

Amazone's recently released WindControl System automatically monitors and adjusts the spreading pattern to compensate for the effect of the wind…

First Claas patent hits a century

While Claas has registered more than 3,000 patents during its 108-year history, the company is currently celebrating the 100th anniversary…

JD invests in robotics

Global giant Deere and Co has acquired Silicon Valley start-up company Bear Flag Robotics, which specialises in autonomous driving technologies…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Murky waters

OPINION: Your canine crusader knows there is a great deal of unease - especially in rural NZ - about the…

Who?

OPINION: The refusal of both Damien O'Connor and PM Jacinda Ardern to release some of the correspondence they received about…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter