GP Joel Howe has a petition:
Let’s call for drive-through community-based assessment centres to be set up by our Labs (not GPs) with technicians equipped to do this efficiently. This is for public safety and for business continuity. It minimizes cross infection in a very public area like a GP clinic and does not cripple the rest of primary care. We should start preparing and GPs and Healthline can all refer to these centres, via an electronic BPAC referral.
The UK BMJ guidelines for GPs published on 6 March 2020 also do not recommend testing in primary care. Testing should take place at the hospital, the patient’s home, or in designated receiving units according to this guidance. …
We need to protect our doctor/nursing staff (who don’t do these swabs everyday) to look after other non-COVID-19 patients during an epidemic, rather than lose them to self-isolation or illnesses. GPs are perfectly capable of handling this but we really don’t need trained doctors or nurses to perform a swab or put the rest of our elderly and vulnerable patients at our practice in unnecessary danger. It is all about risk management.
To survive an outbreak , the Ministry of Health needs to protect its limited medical staff and reduce rampant absentism. This preserves our community healthcare team as an essential service because our patients do not just suffer from COVID-19 during an epidemic. Primary and tertiary care must both remain intact and continue to protect our most vulnerable. People must also feel safe visiting their GPs and the hospital.
This is the sort of stuff the Government should be doing as a matter of urgency.
We’re already seeing high levels of staff absences in some DHBs and medical staff having to go into isolation.
The last place you want people going to get tested in a hospital or medical centre.
Drive through community assessment clinics means no sharing a waiting room with people who may or may not be infected.
I encourage people to sign the petition.