With growing numbers of Covid-19 positive people self-isolating at home, GPs say they are facing increased workloads and need more clarity over how they get paid for monitoring them.
But the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC), which is leading the Covid-19 response for Auckland's DHBs, says while funding is available, plans are in place for a more permanent arrangement.
Health Minister Andrew Little announced a series of changes to MIQ last month that he said would see the majority of people with coronavirus treated in the community, instead of relocating them to managed isolation and quarantine facilities.
Such patients were expected to be monitored by Healthline, with initial assessments carried out by Auckland Regional Public Health Service, with help from primary healthcare providers.
But almost a month later GPs say they are monitoring increasing numbers of Covid-19 patients self-isolating at home and there needs to be more clarity over their roles.
Papakura GP Dr Primla Khar's practice is supporting a number of patients with the virus, but said funding for the services is still a work in progress.
"It's in the pipeline - that's what we've been told," Khar said.
She said many patients have contacted the practice directly after getting their test results because they haven't been called by Auckland Regional Public Health Service to assess whether they should go to MIQ, or isolate at home.
"But how often are we supposed to call them and is there funding for it?"
Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners medical director Dr Bryan Betty said there was a lack of clarity around how the existing pilot funding model for GPs worked and if it provided adequate funding for the work required.
"From the college's perspective we're keen to see a national model developed for this."
However, Betty said the increased workloads GPs are facing will need to be addressed in a more permanent funding model.
Dr Allan Moffitt is the clinical director of ProCare, the Primary Health Organisation (PHO) which funds almost 50 per cent of the primary healthcare providers in Auckland.
He said delays in Auckland Regional Public Health Service carrying out assessments of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 has led to GPs doing more work supporting people with the virus in the community.
But Moffitt said under the temporary funding model in place for doctors providing support to people self-isolating with Covid-19, many GPs will still be waiting to receive their first payments.
"It does seem the system is starting to bulge at the seams and is struggling to cope with the numbers we are seeing. I do have some doubts over whether the system we have now will be able to cope with the numbers of cases."
A spokesman for the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) said it did not expect GPs to be the primary point of contact for Covid-19 patients at this stage of the outbreak, or to regularly monitor those isolating at home.
"This is currently the role of the Healthline team. But GPs have been informed about how they can claim the payments for any consultations they have done with Covid-19 patients who reach out to them."
However, they confirmed GPs are still waiting for their first payments under the new self-isolation system.
But they said the Ministry of Health is in talks with DHBs and primary care providers about a more permanent funding system to support GPs and primary healthcare providers caring for Covid-19 cases in the community.
Local Democracy Reporting is a public interest news service supported by RNZ, the News Publishers' Association and NZ On Air.