Jenny Butt, Senior Relationship Manager, and Debra Wilson, Relationship Manager visited seven rural practices in scenic Central Otago. They visited a range of practices serving an incredibly diverse set of rural communities including in Queenstown, Wanaka, Cromwell, Alexandra and Roxburgh.
These practice visits are incredibly valuable and gave us the opportunity to strengthen relationships with our rural partners and grow our understanding of the roles they play.
Some key things we learnt include:
- Rural practices continue to respond to the challenges of Covid-19 with initiative and dedication, particularly in the areas of providing testing and vaccination services.
- The realities (both challenges and rewards) of GPs needing to be available for community beyond their specific practice hours, having the ability to multi-task and ‘drop everything’ at a moment’s notice to attend a call out.
- Sole practices in remote rural areas face some unique staffing challenges, requiring PRIME-trained GPs, or at a minimum very experienced GPs who will be comfortable with acute presentations, given the nearest hospital is often some distance away.
Practice visits are an essential part of what we do at NZLocums and NZMedJobs and give us a chance to connect with the doctors, nurses, and practice managers we work with and get to the heart of how we can best support their recruitment needs.
A big thank you to the practices that welcomed Jenny and Debra on this trip. We appreciate the time you took to share with us your insights and challenges, especially given the additional workload and stress present in general practice due to Covid-19. Our next visits will be planned for early 2022.