21 Apr 2020

Covid-19: GPs say promised government funding not received

9:14 pm on 21 April 2020

General practitioners say they have been denied millions of dollars of promised Covid-19 funding.

No caption

Photo: Photo /123RF

The Medical Association, which represents doctors, said the government gave GPs $22 million to help with costs and told them it would give them the same amount again.

But they were told this week, the second payment would not be coming, the association's GP council chair Jan White said.

That was "incredibly disappointing".

GPs were working hard at the frontline of the disease, testing and treating patients, she said.

But many of them were also small businesses who were struggling because they were seeing fewer patients.

"We need the government ... to actually understand what general practice does and the extent of what we do and the goodwill that's involved - that general practice steps up to the plate every time we're asked to," she said.

Health Minister David Clark said in a statement GPs had been given $37m in support and further funding was still being decided.

Many were also able to access the wage subsidy scheme, he said.

The government recognised the impact the lockdown had had on practices and the vital work they did, Clark said.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs